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whag
06-19-2015, 09:14 AM
A Christian member PM'd me asking me to clarify a statement I made in another thread. In that thread, I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of characters--in particular Chriatianity since that was the topic.

Would that member be willing to participate here and explain why he wants to know? I'm prepared to expound on my statement, but I'm curious as to why it necessitated a follow up? Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?

shunyadragon
06-19-2015, 09:29 AM
A Christian member PM'd me asking me to clarify a statement I made in another thread. In that thread, I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of characters--in particular Chriatianity since that was the topic.

Would that member be willing to participate here and explain why he wants to know? I'm prepared to expound on my statement, but I'm curious as to why it necessitated a follow up? Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?

I actually agree concerning the ancient religions where the plot is unbelievable, mythical, and to some extent created by humans to reflect the world view of the believers at the time. The religions and the associated Messiahs may be valid revelations of God inn the context of the time, and the plots and myths may not be true. I believe the Revelations of God evolved over time in the context of the Spiritual Laws and teachings that lie at the core of the scripture.

Darth Executor
06-19-2015, 09:32 AM
I actually agree concerning the ancient religions where the plot is unbelievable, mythical, and to some extent created by humans to reflect the world view of the believers at the time. The religions and the associated Messiahs may be valid revelations of God inn the context of the time, and the plots and myths may not be true. I believe the Revelations of God evolved over time in the context of the Spiritual Laws and teachings that lie at the core of the scripture.

Nobody cares.

shunyadragon
06-19-2015, 09:53 AM
Nobody cares.

Who is nobody? I have not met him or her yet!

My choice of belief is not based on a popularity contest.

Truthseeker
06-19-2015, 02:59 PM
I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of charactersTwo possibilities:
1)You were just expressing your opinion; you had no intention of conducting a debate.
2) You did want to debate. In that case, the quote above is argument from incredulity.

Scrawly
06-19-2015, 04:21 PM
I would hope that any honest Christian will concede that the narratives found in the Bible are simply hard to believe. The fact of the matter is that the supernatural, miraculous interventions and/or manifestations recounted in the biblical text are so utterly foreign to our experiences that we are left struggling to believe that they literally happened. It's certainly not a logical impossibility, but taking into consideration the context of the text (my tribal deity vs. your tribal deity) which is from an ancient people with a primitive worldview, well, it's rather difficult to believe that they were just recordin' literal history.

With that said, I do in fact believe that the one true God revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and more-or-less interacted with them in the manner described in the biblical text. However, I do have my doubts and often say to the Lord: "I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief"..and he does. :smile:

whag
06-19-2015, 05:28 PM
I would hope that any honest Christian will concede that the narratives found in the Bible are simply hard to believe. The fact of the matter is that the supernatural, miraculous interventions and/or manifestations recounted in the biblical text are so utterly foreign to our experiences that we are left struggling to believe that they literally happened. It's certainly not a logical impossibility, but taking into consideration the context of the text (my tribal deity vs. your tribal deity) which is from an ancient people with a primitive worldview, well, it's rather difficult to believe that they were just recordin' literal history.

With that said, I do in fact believe that the one true God revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and more-or-less interacted with them in the manner described in the biblical text. However, I do have my doubts and often say to the Lord: "I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief"..and he does. :smile:

I've talked to Christians who've told me the same thing, but the doubts they experience don't really reflect the doubts I would have (i.e., the parts of the plot that seem human manufactured). Their doubts are more minor (doubting a Pauline verse, for instance) whereas I don't believe the base premises that one MUST accept if I was a Christian. Satan, for instance. Believing Christianity seems to require the acceptance of an anthropomorphic mutiny whose effects reverberate today.

Some people seem inclined to believe such things. Many religions have in common the same obligations to accept dubious premises. This crystalized for me when I saw the documentary on Scientology "Going Clear."

What's a typical doubt that you've experienced, and how does God help your unbelief? Are they more minor or doubts about the larger premises?

Scrawly
06-19-2015, 05:56 PM
I've talked to Christians who've told me the same thing, but the doubts they experience don't really reflect the doubts I would have (i.e., the parts of the plot that seem human manufactured). Their doubts are more minor (doubting a Pauline verse, for instance) whereas I don't believe the base premises that one MUST accept if I was a Christian. Satan, for instance. Believing Christianity seems to require the acceptance of an anthropomorphic mutiny whose effects reverberate today.

Some people seem inclined to believe such things. Many religions have in common the same obligations to accept dubious premises. This crystalized for me when I saw the documentary on Scientology "Going Clear."

What's a typical doubt that you've experienced, and how does God help your unbelief? Are they more minor or doubts about the larger premises?

I don't see why you, as a hypothetical Christian, would take such a strong stance against the existence of Satan. Christian's believe in God, angelic beings, resurrections, supernatural/spiritual dimensions, etc. Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, believed in Satan. What insight from modernity renders belief in a supernatural evil being as obsolete?

Some of my doubts revolve around the disconnect between what I read in the Scriptures about God's supernatural activity and intervention, and what I experience in my daily life. Christian's by-and-large say we live in such close, personal communion with God, yet our lives are often radically characterized by natural, mundane ways of living. Where are the miracle workers? Or rather, where are the miracles? Now, I speak merely of my personal experience and the experiences of those I observe close to me but I do know there are other accounts of the miraculous happening around the globe; yet, the lack of supernatural manifestation in my own life tends to make me doubt the veracity of those accounts. Is it possible that Christian's just don't have the faith they claim to? I think that might be part of the problem (Luke 18:8). However, I think there can come a point when Christian's just choose to "settle" because their faith has taken a beating in light of the harsh realities of life.

So how do I cope with certain doubts? Well, when I read the New Testament and observe the lives and struggles of the ancient saints, the Scriptures are clear that God does not seemingly regularly involve himself in ways we'd hope and we are called to press on in the face of God's seeming abandonment or even seeming non-existence - we are called to persevere and walk by faith and not sight.

KingsGambit
06-19-2015, 07:20 PM
I find it interesting that C.S. Lewis, who was very familiar with various mythologies, found the general story arc of Christianity to be consonant with the archetypes he was familiar with. He found the stories compelling, but for their aesthetic qualities and not necessarily literalism.

I'm not trying to make a strong point here; I just find it interesting that some people can come up with opposite conclusions here.

Having said that... when we talk about "plot and cast", are we talking about, say, God/angels/demons/etc. or just "ordinary" human characters in the Bible?

I'm about to leave to work overnight so I won't respond again for awhile.

Doug Shaver
06-19-2015, 07:42 PM
Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?
Same questions to you. Are you open to changing your mind? Do you just want a lively discussion to hone your argumentative chops?

whag
06-19-2015, 10:55 PM
Same questions to you. Are you open to changing your mind? Do you just want a lively discussion to hone your argumentative chops?

The latter, to be realistic. I'm open to changing my mind and have tried to accept the liberal theology of Pete Enns, but I seem to be disinclined to believe the basic premise. It's not for lack of trying. My wife's a Christian, so I've tried. I just don't connect with fantastic tales that are pitched as true explanations of the world.

So, yes, I'm open but don't think people here, given my experience with them, will be any more successful in their presentation than Enns, who is a very smart guy. I think some people are inclined to believe certain religious premises, while others are predisposed to skepticism. We're all so different in many ways, and I accept that. Despite my differences with my wife, we manage a good partnership.

shunyadragon
06-20-2015, 04:55 AM
I don't see why you, as a hypothetical Christian, would take such a strong stance against the existence of Satan. Christian's believe in God, angelic beings, resurrections, supernatural/spiritual dimensions, etc. Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, believed in Satan. What insight from modernity renders belief in a supernatural evil being as obsolete?

Some of my doubts revolve around the disconnect between what I read in the Scriptures about God's supernatural activity and intervention, and what I experience in my daily life. Christian's by-and-large say we live in such close, personal communion with God, yet our lives are often radically characterized by natural, mundane ways of living. Where are the miracle workers? Or rather, where are the miracles? Now, I speak merely of my personal experience and the experiences of those I observe close to me but I do know there are other accounts of the miraculous happening around the globe; yet, the lack of supernatural manifestation in my own life tends to make me doubt the veracity of those accounts. Is it possible that Christian's just don't have the faith they claim to? I think that might be part of the problem (Luke 18:8). However, I think there can come a point when Christian's just choose to "settle" because their faith has taken a beating in light of the harsh realities of life.

So how do I cope with certain doubts? Well, when I read the New Testament and observe the lives and struggles of the ancient saints, the Scriptures are clear that God does not seemingly regularly involve himself in ways we'd hope and we are called to press on in the face of God's seeming abandonment or even seeming non-existence - we are called to persevere and walk by faith and not sight.

Your in some ways close to how I view the Bible and my doubts while I was still a Christian. The path I choose is not to persevere blindly to cling to an ancient paradigm, but to walk by BOTH faith and sight.

I still have faith in a universal God and not ancient myths and legends.

37818
06-21-2015, 02:08 PM
Whag,

First, a thank you.

Second, in particular what do you take as unbelievable in the Christian gospel plot? And please explain why? and how you come to your conclusions.

Third, in that regard, what characters in the account do you find to be unbelievable? Why?

And again thanks.

Truthseeker
06-21-2015, 04:29 PM
I think that in essence, anyone thinking like Whag does starts with the assumption that there is no such thing as a miracle. Every event in the universe is 100% natural. There is no God; in particular, not one that can create miracles.

whag
06-22-2015, 07:11 AM
I think that in essence, anyone thinking like Whag does starts with the assumption that there is no such thing as a miracle. Every event in the universe is 100% natural. There is no God; in particular, not one that can create miracles.

Yes, but let's not start there. Let's start with premise and characters. Thinking like yours accepts the premise that God created a being who knew God's power, got jealous, and led a mutiny. Very little is said about this but so much has been extrapolated from it. Cut to Jesus' time. The characters from that mutiny inhabit and antagonize random people. Satan later appears to tempt God, the person who made him, taunting him to save himself and offering him earthly kingdoms.

As with so many myths and religions, I don't believe this. I think moral and natural evil are better explained in other ways, not through the anthropomorphic story of Satan having a whack attack.

whag
06-22-2015, 08:06 AM
Whag,

First, a thank you.

Second, in particular what do you take as unbelievable in the Christian gospel plot? And please explain why? and how you come to your conclusions.

Third, in that regard, what characters in the account do you find to be unbelievable? Why?

And again thanks.

You're welcome.

Let's start with the base premise as described in my reply to Truthseeker.

shunyadragon
06-22-2015, 10:04 AM
Yes, but let's not start there. Let's start with premise and characters. Thinking like yours accepts the premise that God created a being who knew God's power, got jealous, and led a mutiny. Very little is said about this but so much has been extrapolated from it. Cut to Jesus' time. The characters from that mutiny inhabit and antagonize random people. Satan later appears to tempt God, the person who made him, taunting him to save himself and offering him earthly kingdoms.

As with so many myths and religions, I don't believe this. I think moral and natural evil are better explained in other ways, not through the anthropomorphic story of Satan having a whack attack.

I do not believe them either, because cause they reflect the legends and myths of the time, and not the evolving spiritual message of the Revelation.

whag
06-22-2015, 10:41 AM
I do not believe them either, because cause they reflect the legends and myths of the time, and not the evolving spiritual message of the Revelation.

The ratio of what the Bible says about Satan to what has been extrapolated from that content shows how shaky and inadequate that story is an an explanation for moral and natural evil. That's one of the reasons why evolution vexed conservative Christians when it became apparent that was the truth. All of the sudden, human behavior made sense apart from the Adam myth.

37818
06-22-2015, 01:57 PM
Let's start with premise and characters. Thinking like yours accepts the premise that God created a being who knew God's power, got jealous, and led a mutiny. Very little is said about this but so much has been extrapolated from it. Cut to Jesus' time. . . . OK.
We need to deal with this before we go further. How do you extapulate this jealousy? And then were do you get a mutiny?

whag
06-22-2015, 02:14 PM
OK.
We need to deal with this before we go further. How do you extapulate this jealousy? And then were do you get a mutiny?

I don't understand the first question. Re: "mutiny," what's a mutiny if not an open rebellion? Why begin with splitting hairs over that term?

shunyadragon
06-22-2015, 02:40 PM
OK.
We need to deal with this before we go further. How do you extapulate this jealousy? And then were do you get a mutiny?

There may be quibbling and mixing terminology, but this obviously refers to the Fall, Original Sin and the consequences of the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God that results in the punishment for all of humanity since. This a mythical plot and characters that does not remotely fit any reality imaginable.

whag
06-22-2015, 03:00 PM
There may be quibbling and mixing terminology, but this obviously refers to the Fall, Original Sin and the consequences of the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God that results in the punishment for all of humanity since. This a mythical plot and characters that does not remotely fit any reality imaginable.

Yes, but let's stick with the angelic rebellion and defection, first. I'd rather not leap to the Adam explication before 37818 defends the believability of the heaven war.

shunyadragon
06-22-2015, 03:06 PM
Yes, but let's stick with the angelic rebellion and defection, first. I'd rather not leap to the Adam explication before 37818 defends the believability of the heaven war.

I am assuming that the human rebellion is a reflection of the Angelic rebellion in heaven. It would be true that both the Angelic and worldly Adam and Eve rebellion were real than the Omnipotent and All-powerful nature of God would be seriously in question and problematic.

whag
06-22-2015, 03:21 PM
I am assuming that the human rebellion is a reflection of the Angelic rebellion in heaven. It would be true that both the Angelic and worldly Adam and Eve rebellion were real than the Omnipotent and All-powerful nature of God would be seriously in question and problematic.

Here's a fascinating (though cornball) video from the Amazing Facts guy on this very topic: the origin of evil.

http://youtu.be/dSUPBn3MqQQ

37818
06-22-2015, 09:54 PM
I don't understand the first question. Re: "mutiny," what's a mutiny if not an open rebellion? Why begin with splitting hairs over that term?Ok, what was the rebellion you are referring to?

whag
06-22-2015, 10:03 PM
Ok, what was the rebellion you are referring to?

The angel one.

37818
06-22-2015, 10:03 PM
Here's a fascinating (though cornball) video from the Amazing Facts guy on this very topic: the origin of evil.

http://youtu.be/dSUPBn3MqQQ

Here is a teaching from the Bible, the knowledge of good and evil is God's[Yahweh's] knowledge [Genesis 3:5, 22].

37818
06-22-2015, 10:05 PM
The angel one.

And what does he Bible really tell us on this?

whag
06-22-2015, 10:08 PM
And what does he Bible really tell us on this?

Don't drag this out. It'll get boring fast if you take this approach.

shunyadragon
06-23-2015, 04:47 AM
And what does he Bible really tell us on this?

Angel rebelled against God.

37818
06-23-2015, 06:09 AM
Angel rebelled against God.

This belief has a basis. It needs to be addressed. To separate the Bibical claims from interpretations[speculations].

37818
06-23-2015, 06:14 AM
Don't drag this out. It'll get boring fast if you take this approach.

Like I said to Shuny, we need to separate Biblical claims from [wild] speculations.

whag
06-23-2015, 06:59 AM
Like I said to Shuny, we need to separate Biblical claims from [wild] speculations.

Where have I wildly speculated? The angelic rebellion is a wild speculation?

It really feels like you're stalling in getting this discussion started. I gave you a very simple summary of what I find unbelievable, which is what you asked for. Now you're implying I'm a wild speculator. Unless you pick up the pace, I'm through here.

whag
06-23-2015, 07:21 AM
Angel rebelled against God.

Not just one, but billions. If it were any less, they couldn't tempt and antagonize humanity sufficiently.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 08:39 AM
Who is nobody?

The guy who voluntarily pays way more taxes than he owes because he just loves the efficiency of our government.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 08:41 AM
Not just one, but billions. If it were any less, they couldn't tempt and antagonize humanity sufficiently.

That seems like faulty logic - that a supernatural being requires any particular ratio (one to one?) to be effective. :huh:

shunyadragon
06-23-2015, 09:05 AM
This belief has a basis. It needs to be addressed. To separate the Bibical claims from interpretations[speculations].

The address the problem of the belief and not speculations.

shunyadragon
06-23-2015, 09:07 AM
The guy who voluntarily pays way more taxes than he owes because he just loves the efficiency of our government.

I have not met this nobody. Can you introduce him or her to me. As far as the reference in the previous post by Darth it did not have this meaning. It vaguely referred to everyone else on Tweb. Is this your view of everyone else on Tweb as 'nobody.'

whag
06-23-2015, 09:17 AM
That seems like faulty logic - that a supernatural being requires any particular ratio (one to one?) to be effective. :huh:

Maybe you're right. Maybe a dozen would do the trick. Or maybe it's just hooey.

Adrift
06-23-2015, 09:45 AM
Yes, but let's not start there. Let's start with premise and characters. Thinking like yours accepts the premise that God created a being who knew God's power, got jealous, and led a mutiny. Very little is said about this but so much has been extrapolated from it. Cut to Jesus' time. The characters from that mutiny inhabit and antagonize random people. Satan later appears to tempt God, the person who made him, taunting him to save himself and offering him earthly kingdoms.

As with so many myths and religions, I don't believe this. I think moral and natural evil are better explained in other ways, not through the anthropomorphic story of Satan having a whack attack.

Don't know why I'm bothering, but...

I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience. The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion, and became (as we find in the New Testament) "the ruler of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", and "the god of this age". By Satan usurping mankind's dominion, direct divine communication between God and man was broken off. Since Satan acquired dominion over the earth legally, it required God to take it back legally (God being a God of order, and not of chaos must follow whatever guidelines he has previously laid out).

Jesus came in part to restore that dominion, and to intercede on our behalf. It's possible that Satan did not know the full identity of Jesus (assuming that he was the Messiah, and the Son of God, but not knowing that he was God the Son), but even if he did, he had something precious that he knew that the Messiah wanted back. He didn't understand, and could not foresee that the Christ would suffer the ultimate curse by being mocked, hung on a tree till death, and then buried. So he offered what he possessed, all of the dominion over the world, and the world system, and everything that went with that, if only the Messiah would bow to him (which, incidentally, is what he wanted when he was cast out from heaven if we accept that he is symbolically represented in Isaiah 14:12-14). That said, the Christian is not obliged to accept that anything Satan does is done rationally. Perhaps being cast out of the presence of the almighty made him nuts. He knows he is ultimately defeated, and while fruitless, he attempts to thwart God in any and every way that he possibly can until his final end.

Anyways, the above may not be satisfactory to you. May even ask more questions than it answers. But I for one believe it adds plausible background to dubious plots and cast.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 09:50 AM
Maybe you're right. Maybe a dozen would do the trick. Or maybe it's just hooey.

Well, that's the point, Whag - it's either supernatural or it's hooey -- but to put human constraints on a supernatural belief is ... well... hooey. :smile:

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 09:52 AM
I have not met this nobody.

Because he doesn't exist. :smile:


Can you introduce him or her to me.

Ummmm... see above.


As far as the reference in the previous post by Darth it did not have this meaning. It vaguely referred to everyone else on Tweb. Is this your view of everyone else on Tweb as 'nobody.'

No.

whag
06-23-2015, 09:53 AM
Don't know why I'm bothering, but...

Because you want to defend the plausibility of it. Sometimes I feel like I know your motivation better than ypu do.

[
I think this cast of characters works fine if we ounderstand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience. The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion, and became (as we find in the New Testament) "the ruler of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", and "the god of this age". By Satan usurping mankind's dominion, direct divine communication between God and man was broken off. Since Satan acquired dominion over the earth legally, it required God to take it back legally (God being a God of order, and not of chaos must follow whatever guidelines he has previously laid out).

Jesus came in part to restore that dominion, and to intercede on our behalf. It's possible that Satan did not know the full identity of Jesus (assuming that he was the Messiah, and the Son of God, but not knowing that he was God the Son), but even if he did, he had something precious that he knew that the Messiah wanted back. He didn't understand, and could not foresee that the Christ would suffer the ultimate curse by being mocked, hung on a tree till death, and then buried. So he offered what he possessed, all of the dominion over the world, and the world system, and everything that went with that, if only the Messiah would bow to him (which, incidentally, is what he wanted when he was cast out from heaven if we accept that he is symbolically represented in Isaiah 14:12-14). That said, the Christian is not obliged to accept that anything Satan does is done rationally. Perhaps being cast out of the presence of the almighty made him nuts. He knows he is ultimately defeated, and while fruitless, he attempts to thwart God in any and every way that he possibly can until his final end.

Anyways, the above may not be satisfactory to you. May even ask more questions than it answers. But I for one believe it adds plausible background to dubious plots and cast.

I will ponder this and get back to you.

Adrift
06-23-2015, 09:55 AM
Because you want to defend the plausibility of it. Sometimes I feel like I know your motivation better than ypu do.

I mean, I don't know why I'm bothering engaging with you. Past experience teaches me it's a largely fruitless effort. Maybe I'm nuts as well. :wink:

whag
06-23-2015, 09:56 AM
Well, that's the point, Whag - it's either supernatural or it's hooey -- but to put human constraints on a supernatural belief is ... well... hooey. :smile:

Supernatural doesn't mean all powerful and omnipresent. You do the exact same thing I do.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 09:57 AM
Supernatural doesn't mean all powerful and omnipresent.

Nor did I claim it did.


You do the exact same thing I do.

Nope. And you dun it again! :doh:

whag
06-23-2015, 09:59 AM
I mean, I don't know why I'm bothering engaging with you. Past experience teaches me it's a largely fruitless effort. Maybe I'm nuts as well. :wink:

You typically bow out as soon as you feel slightly exasperated. That's not really engagement.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 10:00 AM
You typically bow out as soon as you feel slightly exasperated. That's not really engagement.

Yeah, he's more sane than a lot of us. :smug:

whag
06-23-2015, 10:06 AM
Yeah, he's more sane than a lot of us. :smug:

You misspelled "of a martyr."

Adrift
06-23-2015, 10:08 AM
You typically bow out as soon as you feel slightly exasperated. That's not really engagement.

I don't see much point in sticking around when I see dead horses being beaten, my words twisted to suit your agenda, and/or when I see that your aim is to win the conversation rather than have a discussion.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 10:10 AM
You misspelled "of a martyr."

Yeah, that's real engagement. :thumb:


So, how did you get "all powerful and omnipresent" from my comment "but to put human constraints on a supernatural belief is ... well... hooey"? :huh:

That's a classic false dichotomy, I think.

whag
06-23-2015, 10:13 AM
I don't see much point in sticking around when I see dead horses being beaten, my words twisted to suit your agenda, and/or when I see that your aim is to win the conversation rather than have a discussion.

Your opening salvo was "I don't know why I bother." I don't care if you leave.

whag
06-23-2015, 10:22 AM
Yeah, that's real engagement. :thumb:


So, how did you get "all powerful and omnipresent" from my comment "but to put human constraints on a supernatural belief is ... well... hooey"? :huh:

That's a classic false dichotomy, I think.

Supernatural doesn't mean capable of anything. Can you acknowledge any limits that demons have, besides the logistical one that I implied? If a legion inhabited one man, there appears to be a surplus of them.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 10:32 AM
Supernatural doesn't mean capable of anything.

And, AGAIN, I never claimed it did. :huh:


Can you acknowledge any limits that demons have, besides the logistical one that I implied?

If you weren't looking for a fight, you MIGHT be able to discern that I see a RANGE of capabilities -- from more than human to less than God -- in supernatural beings.


If a legion inhabited one man, there appears to be a surplus of them.

If a legion inhabited EVERY man, you might have a point. And "surplus" doesn't demand "billions", as you originally stated. :tongue:

whag
06-23-2015, 10:32 AM
I find it interesting that C.S. Lewis, who was very familiar with various mythologies, found the general story arc of Christianity to be consonant with the archetypes he was familiar with. He found the stories compelling, but for their aesthetic qualities and not necessarily literalism.

I'm not trying to make a strong point here; I just find it interesting that some people can come up with opposite conclusions here.

Having said that... when we talk about "plot and cast", are we talking about, say, God/angels/demons/etc. or just "ordinary" human characters in the Bible?

I'm about to leave to work overnight so I won't respond again for awhile.

I think you're misrepresenting Lewis. He believed that demonic forces interacted with human beings, so you're overshooting a bit by saying he only viewed Satan and demons as archetypes and aesthetic expressions. I don't just disbelieve a hyperliteral story about an angelic rebellion; I disbelieve the core premise. I regard the personification of evil in the form of Satan as dubious, and it doesn't get any coarser than that!

Re: cast of characters, I also meant many human characters from the Bible, but let's stick with the core premise for now. That's entirely rich enough.

whag
06-23-2015, 10:35 AM
And, AGAIN, I never claimed it did. :huh:



If you weren't looking for a fight, you MIGHT be able to discern that I see a RANGE of capabilities -- from more than human to less than God -- in supernatural beings.



If a legion inhabited EVERY man, you might have a point. And "surplus" doesn't demand "billions", as you originally stated. :tongue:

Fair enough. At the least, we agree that the Bible says that many demons, probably more than a dozen, interact with human beings, yes?

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 10:41 AM
Fair enough. At the least, we agree that the Bible says that many demons, probably more than a dozen, interact with human beings, yes?

How many human beings? How many instances of this?

whag
06-23-2015, 10:57 AM
How many human beings? How many instances of this?

You tell me, pastor poke. You can't mentally access any sermons you've preached on this topic?

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 11:01 AM
You tell me, pastor poke. You can't mentally access any sermons you've preached on this topic?

Ah, so now you're being ... um... snarky because you're not doing so good at this. :thumb:

I can't recall preaching any sermons that make this ("many" demons possessing one human) a common occurrence.

YOU brought this up, Whag - don't run from it... how often in the Bible do we see this "multiple demons" possessing humans?

whag
06-23-2015, 11:09 AM
Ah, so now you're being ... um... snarky because you're not doing so good at this. :thumb:

I can't recall preaching any sermons that make this ("many" demons possessing one human) a common occurrence.

YOU brought this up, Whag - don't run from it... how often in the Bible do we see this "multiple demons" possessing humans?

Snark is fun. Don't pretend you don't enjoy it.

I have no idea how many multiple demon possessions have occurred. Neither do I have any idea why more than one would be required, they being "supernatural" and all.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 11:15 AM
I have no idea how many multiple demon possessions have occurred.

Yes, that was quite obvious up front. :thumb:


Neither do I have any idea why more than one would be required, they being "supernatural" and all.

"Required"? Who said they were "required"? It's an unusual case that Jesus dealt with, and He dealt with it rather handily. :smile:

You're trying to justify your "billions", and not doing so good. :shrug: The fact that we have ONE account that multiple demons possessed a man (or a couple of men) for a limited time is really poor logic for assuming BILLIONS. (I'm picturing the old McDondald's signs --- "Billions and Billions served")

:smile:




Note - It's quite possible there ARE "BILLIONS" of angels and/or demons, but your "logic" isn't doing so good to support that. :shrug:

whag
06-23-2015, 11:21 AM
Yes, that was quite obvious up front. :thumb:



"Required"? Who said they were "required"? It's an unusual case that Jesus dealt with, and He dealt with it rather handily. :smile:

You're trying to justify your "billions", and not doing so good. :shrug: The fact that we have ONE account that multiple demons possessed a man (or a couple of men) for a limited time is really poor logic for assuming BILLIONS. (I'm picturing the old McDondald's signs --- "Billions and Billions served")

:smile:




Note - It's quite possible there ARE "BILLIONS" of angels and/or demons, but your "logic" isn't doing so good to support that. :shrug:

If you still think I'm defending billions, you're not following the thread. It could be a dozen. Maybe it's three.

Yes, Jesus handled it handily. He migrated their substance into pigs.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 11:23 AM
If you still think I'm defending billions, you're not following the thread.

You're all over the place - hard to follow.


It could be a dozen. Maybe it's three.

WHAT could be a dozen or maybe three? The "Legion"? :huh:


Yes, Jesus handled it handily. He migrated their substance into pigs.

Demons are disembodied spirits - as opposed to angels, who never try to inhabit a body. :shrug:

whag
06-23-2015, 11:29 AM
You're all over the place - hard to follow.



WHAT could be a dozen or maybe three? The "Legion"? :huh:



Demons are disembodied spirits - as opposed to angels, who never try to inhabit a body. :shrug:

Ok now you're all over the place.

Let me summarize:

1. Total demon population according to you: could be three to billions. I agree.

2. Demons don't have scrotums or toes. They lost them during the war in heaven. I agree.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 11:35 AM
Ok now you're all over the place.

Let me summarize:

1. Total demon population according to you: could be three to billions. I agree.

This is dumb - where did I say the total population of demons could be three? :huh:


2. Demons don't have scrotums or toes. They lost them during the war in heaven. I agree.

You've reverted to jackassery.

I agree.

whag
06-23-2015, 11:42 AM
This is dumb - where did I say the total population of demons could be three? :huh:



You've reverted to jackassery.

I agree.

So we can arrive at a minimum number, then. More than the members of Nirvana, for sure.

Cow Poke
06-23-2015, 11:46 AM
So we can arrive at a minimum number, then. More than the members of Nirvana, for sure.

I shall leave you to your jackassery.

Unsubscribing. Have fun!

whag
06-23-2015, 04:25 PM
I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience.

That doesn't address the angelic rebellion, which is the first implausible part. God creates a highly intelligent being, Satan, who knows that God can't be usurped. God gives Satan high office. Satan somehow has a mental episode, lusting for the power of God that he knew he could never have (because he's just slightly above humans), and contrives a mutiny anyway. Many angels are consumed with the same inexplicable delusion and follow Satan, becoming disembodied in the process. Not plausible.


The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion, and became (as we find in the New Testament) "the ruler of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", and "the god of this age". By Satan usurping mankind's dominion, direct divine communication between God and man was broken off. Since Satan acquired dominion over the earth legally, it required God to take it back legally (God being a God of order, and not of chaos must follow whatever guidelines he has previously laid out).

Not sure how Satan usurped dominion if he dared wage a mutiny previously in Heaven. You'll have to explain the legal system that allowed that.


Jesus came in part to restore that dominion, and to intercede on our behalf. It's possible that Satan did not know the full identity of Jesus (assuming that he was the Messiah, and the Son of God, but not knowing that he was God the Son), but even if he did, he had something precious that he knew that the Messiah wanted back. He didn't understand, and could not foresee that the Christ would suffer the ultimate curse by being mocked, hung on a tree till death, and then buried. So he offered what he possessed, all of the dominion over the world, and the world system, and everything that went with that, if only the Messiah would bow to him (which, incidentally, is what he wanted when he was cast out from heaven if we accept that he is symbolically represented in Isaiah 14:12-14).

If he's not symbolically represented in Isaiah, where do you get any of Satan's backstory and motivation?



That said, the Christian is not obliged to accept that anything Satan does is done rationally. Perhaps being cast out of the presence of the almighty made him nuts. He knows he is ultimately defeated, and while fruitless, he attempts to thwart God in any and every way that he possibly can until his final end.

Anyways, the above may not be satisfactory to you. May even ask more questions than it answers. But I for one believe it adds plausible background to dubious plots and cast.

Without Isaiah, there is no background or motivation. Even with Isaiah, I'm honestly telling you it doesn't sound plausible to me at all. Start before Eden.

whag
06-23-2015, 04:26 PM
I shall leave you to your jackassery.

Unsubscribing. Have fun!

You're no fun.

The Pixie
06-24-2015, 03:02 AM
... Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind...
I wonder why this narrative is not set out clearly in the Bible. This was an event that had huge implications to mankind and to Christianity, and yet God apparently has chosen not to make clear what happened. Maybe he finds it all a bit embarrassing...

37818
06-24-2015, 06:31 AM
I wonder why this narrative is not set out clearly in the Bible. This was an event that had huge implications to mankind and to Christianity, and yet God apparently has chosen not to make clear what happened. Maybe he finds it all a bit embarrassing...

". . . And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . . "-- Genesis 1:28.

Adam
06-24-2015, 06:38 AM
Wow,
Whag was so utterly destroyed as phony, then 37818 has to throw away the game to Whag. Adrift took one post to say it all so well, then 37818 undoes it all with an irrelevant platitude.

37818
06-24-2015, 06:41 AM
The address the problem of the belief and not speculations.

Belief not based in what is true can very well be nothing more than mere speculation.

37818
06-24-2015, 06:47 AM
Where have I wildly speculated? The angelic rebellion is a wild speculation? The wild speculations of others about it.


It really feels like you're stalling in getting this discussion started. I gave you a very simple summary of what I find unbelievable, which is what you asked for. Now you're implying I'm a wild speculator. Unless you pick up the pace, I'm through here.OK, why do you find this unbelievable?

whag
06-24-2015, 07:41 AM
". . . And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . . "-- Genesis 1:28.

That's no explanation. By the time that was written, humankind was already well out of the food chain, multiplying like rabbits, dominating fish and fowl.

It's obviously an observation of ourselves, built on previous Sumerian tradition, fitted to a newer religious interpretation. It says jack squat about an angelic rebellion that supposedly explains all moral and natural evil. For that, we have Isaiah 14:12, which even Christians acknowledge might not be about Satan.

whag
06-24-2015, 07:45 AM
Wow,
Whag was so utterly destroyed as phony, then 37818 has to throw away the game to Whag. Adrift took one post to say it all so well, then 37818 undoes it all with an irrelevant platitude.

His reply wasn't a platitude but an answer to Pixie. You don't know what a platitude is.

Stay out of this thread unless you can contribute more than lame sports commentary. You're welcome to respond to my reply to Adrift.

37818
06-24-2015, 09:05 AM
That's no explanation. By the time that was written, humankind was already well out of the food chain, multiplying like rabbits, dominating fish and fowl. But it is the explanation. That was the intent of God's design. So this explanation is given after the fact.


It's obviously an observation of ourselves, built on previous Sumerian tradition, OK. Please cite it. This Sumerian text.


fitted to a newer religious interpretation. It says jack squat about an angelic rebellion that supposedly explains all moral and natural evil. For that, we have Isaiah 14:12, which even Christians acknowledge might not be about Satan.So you suppose, being the Torah is more recently written.
Genesis 1 does not address that rebellion.
Isaiah only hints as to this.

whag
06-24-2015, 09:55 AM
But it is the explanation. That was the intent of God's design. So this explanation is given after the fact.

After *what* fact? From what existing story were the ancient Israelites to assume the fact of an angelic rebellion???!


OK. Please cite it. This Sumerian text.

It'a scholarly consensus that the Genesis oral tradition built on Sumerian content. It's okay if you reject that truth because we're talking about the angelic rebellion here. I want to focus on that extrapolation.


So you suppose, being the Torah is more recently written.
Genesis 1 does not address that rebellion.
Isaiah only hints as to this.

So the origin of evil is built on a vague hint that many Christians acknowledge might not even be about Satan. In a nutshell, that's why I find it implausible and unbelievable.

37818
06-24-2015, 05:44 PM
After *what* fact?That man has dominion over the earth.


From what existing story were the ancient Israelites to assume the fact of an angelic rebellion???!Actually, I am not aware that Israel was aware. There was the individual entity, we identify as the serpent/dragon/ and satan. That a larger rebellion is hinted in Daniel, though, the entity called "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" withstood Gabriel, until Michael the archangel came to Gabriel's aid (Daniel 10:13).




It'a scholarly consensus that the Genesis oral tradition built on Sumerian content.The scholarly consensus based on oral tradition is a suppositional, cannot be trusted, and can only be regarded as late. Now the Sumerian texts are at issue and are of interest to the reasons supposed.


It's okay if you reject that truth because we're talking about the angelic rebellion here.I do not reject the interpretation of an angelic rebellion. I do object to supposing what is not supported by the Biblicial texts. This is where fellow Christians do disagree.

I want to focus on that extrapolation.Please do explain your take on this "extrapolation."




So the origin of evil is built on a vague hint that many Christians acknowledge might not even be about Satan. In a nutshell, that's why I find it implausible and unbelievable.Actually evil is the negation of finite good. Evil, the possibility of evil was always part of God's good creation. God being the infinite good.

The knowledge of good and evil was always God's knowledge (Genesis 3:5, 22). Isaiah reports God saying, ". . . I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]. . . ." -- Isaiah 45:6-7.

Modern translation reders it as, "create disaster." " creating calamity," and the like. It is the same word as used in the "knowledge of good and evil."

The Pixie
06-25-2015, 03:02 AM
". . . And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . . "-- Genesis 1:28.
I think you are referring to the fall of man. I was referring to the fall of satan. Can you point Adrift and me to the verses that set out the narrative of the fall of satan?

37818
06-25-2015, 06:47 AM
I think you are referring to the fall of man.My reply was to your reply under this quote:.
...Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind...


I was referring to the fall of satan. Can you point Adrift and me to the verses that set out the narrative of the fall of satan?
There are two prophecies interpreted to refer to the fall of the one we csll the Devil and Satan. Against the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14:4-15 and against the the prince of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28:2-15.

The Isaiah prophecy against that king for aspiring to be as God. The name Lucifer comes from the Latin translation of the Hebrew for the shining one. The Latin being transliterated to English to get that name.

In Ezekiel there is an identification of being in the garden of Eden, having been being created as a perfect entity. Yet this created perfect being was found to want to be as God v.6.

The Pixie
06-29-2015, 04:06 AM
I think you are referring to the fall of man.
My reply was to your reply under this quote:.

I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience. The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion, and became (as we find in the New Testament) "the ruler of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", and "the god of this age". By Satan usurping mankind's dominion, direct divine communication between God and man was broken off. Since Satan acquired dominion over the earth legally, it required God to take it back legally (God being a God of order, and not of chaos must follow whatever guidelines he has previously laid out).

That paragraph by Adrift mentions the fall of man, but looks to me to be more about Satan.

There are two prophecies interpreted to refer to the fall of the one we csll the Devil and Satan. Against the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14:4-15 and against the the prince of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28:2-15.

The Isaiah prophecy against that king for aspiring to be as God. The name Lucifer comes from the Latin translation of the Hebrew for the shining one. The Latin being transliterated to English to get that name.

In Ezekiel there is an identification of being in the garden of Eden, having been being created as a perfect entity. Yet this created perfect being was found to want to be as God v.6.
You say two prophecies of the fall of Satan, does that mean the fall had not happened at the time Isaiah and Ezekiel were writing? When (approximately) do you think it happened?

Given you see Isaiah 14 as referring to the King of Babylon, in what sense is that a reference to Satan? Was Satan the King of Babylon? Lucifer is a name derived from a sarcastic description, the shining one. The shining one is not a name in the Hebrew. Most (all?) modern Bibles have dropped the word Lucifer altogether.

Similarly, given Ezekiel was talking about the Prince of Tyre, I wonder about the connection to Satan. Sure, the hyperbole used mentions "an anointed guardian cherub" and "You were in Eden, the garden of God", but this is to emphasise the arrogance and pride of the human prince.

Look at the Parallel Commentaries on the verses towards the bottom of this page:
http://biblehub.com/ezekiel/28-13.htm

shunyadragon
06-29-2015, 10:49 AM
I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience. The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion, and became (as we find in the New Testament) "the ruler of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", and "the god of this age". By Satan usurping mankind's dominion, direct divine communication between God and man was broken off. Since Satan acquired dominion over the earth legally, it required God to take it back legally (God being a God of order, and not of chaos must follow whatever guidelines he has previously laid out).

This is a clear and distinct example of what I call the Doctrine and Dogma of traditional Christianity 'mired in the ancient archaic past.' These beliefs are rooted in Canaanites and pre-Babylonian myths and legends. Pixie makes some very good points that need to be answered regarding this problem.

The claim that it 'works fine if we understand the backstory,' needs more explanation how this could be understood as 'reasonable' without believing in the 'backstory' of ancient myths and legends as factual as the church fathers believed.

whag
06-29-2015, 05:49 PM
This is a clear and distinct example of what I call the Doctrine and Dogma of traditional Christianity 'mired in the ancient archaic past.' These beliefs are rooted in Canaanites and pre-Babylonian myths and legends. Pixie makes some very good points that need to be answered regarding this problem.

The claim that it 'works fine if we understand the backstory,' needs more explanation how this could be understood as 'reasonable' without believing in the 'backstory' of ancient myths and legends as factual as the church fathers believed.

YES. Adrift says "it works fine if we understand the backstory" but cannot explain the most dubious part of the backstory. Satan comes in at Eden and gets full legal rights to the earth...because God's obligated to grant him those rights.

Whuh????

The Pixie
06-30-2015, 12:28 AM
Perhaps the most damning part is this:

I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. ...
Adrift is claiming Christianity makes sense if we know the backstory, then tacitly admits we do not actually know it.

MaxVel
06-30-2015, 05:53 AM
YES. Adrift says "it works fine if we understand the backstory" but cannot explain the most dubious part of the backstory. Satan comes in at Eden and gets full legal rights to the earth...because God's obligated to grant him those rights.

Whuh????

That's the glory and greatness of God - He can defeat evil with both hands tied behind His back, and the rules stacked against Him, and using feeble, weak, doubting human beings as His soldiers.

whag
06-30-2015, 07:49 AM
That's the glory and greatness of God - He can defeat evil with both hands tied behind His back, and the rules stacked against Him, and using feeble, weak, doubting human beings as His soldiers.

The inevitability of Satanic and Adamic falls would seem to counter that statement. The idea of rules that he created constraining him such that 6 million years of suffering were necessary is, of course, absurd to the highest degree.


and using feeble, weak, doubting human beings as His soldiers.

They’re doubting because of the context I described above. Doubt is the default position precisely because the story sounds like bollocks, requiring the sort of tortuous anthropomorphic rationalizations that most religions (that want to be taken literally) use.

Now if only you had a backstory that wasn't a few dubious verses from Ezekiel and Isaiah, you'd have a stronger case to make.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 08:08 AM
I find that life itself tends to be full of dubious plots and an unbelievable cast of characters. One of the things that gives the Bible a ring of authenticity is its chaotic portrayal of human nature. It certainly doesn't present a nice, neat narrative. It's rather messy, in fact, just like life.

shunyadragon
06-30-2015, 08:45 AM
I find that life itself tends to be full of dubious plots and an unbelievable cast of characters.

True, but these unbelievable cast of characters and plots are recognized as myths and legends.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 08:58 AM
True, but these unbelievable cast of characters and plots are recognized as myths and legends.
[citation needed]

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 09:04 AM
That doesn't address the angelic rebellion, which is the first implausible part. God creates a highly intelligent being, Satan, who knows that God can't be usurped. God gives Satan high office. Satan somehow has a mental episode, lusting for the power of God that he knew he could never have (because he's just slightly above humans), and contrives a mutiny anyway. Many angels are consumed with the same inexplicable delusion and follow Satan, becoming disembodied in the process. Not plausible.
Declaring this scenario implausible is nothing more than question begging and argument from incredulity.

whag
06-30-2015, 09:06 AM
I find that life itself tends to be full of dubious plots and an unbelievable cast of characters. One of the things that gives the Bible a ring of authenticity is its chaotic portrayal of human nature. It certainly doesn't present a nice, neat narrative. It's rather messy, in fact, just like life.

You hit on a really good point. Your religion posits that life was intended to be mess-free if the Eden experiment went as God intended. That's the fairy tale: Satanic fall aside (which has no basis), we're led to believe that humankind could've persisted without any messes, even though we came from the muck and have the insufficient apparatus to be free of mess (I assume you mean conflict or whatever).

And that's IF you, as a Christian, accept evolution, which, of course, you do not. You're in an even more untenable position than your more realistic brethren.

whag
06-30-2015, 09:14 AM
Declaring this scenario implausible is nothing more than question begging and argument from incredulity.

I'm assuming you accept my summary of the event. No one here has ventured to confirm or deny it, but have skipped that part and gone right to Eden. Explain what happened, where I am wrong or right, then I can give the reasons why it's implausible.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 09:20 AM
The idea of rules that he created constraining him such that 6 million years of suffering were necessary is, of course, absurd to the highest degree.
More question begging.

And you say "6 million years", as if that time span has any significance to an eternal being who exists outside of our time/space continuum. As far as God is concerned, the final culmination of his plan -- the utter defeat of Satan and the redemption of Creation -- has already been realized. What, did you really think that rules God established on earth and bound Satan by somehow frustrated his plans in heaven? Now that is absurd to the highest degree!

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 09:21 AM
I'm assuming you accept my summary of the event. No one here has ventured to confirm or deny it, but have skipped that part and gone right to Eden. Explain what happened, where I am wrong or right, then I can give the reasons why it's implausible.
The only thing I really take issue with is your declaration that the scenario as described is implausible. :shrug:

shunyadragon
06-30-2015, 09:22 AM
[citation needed]

Common sense is adequate.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 09:33 AM
You hit on a really good point. Your religion posits that life was intended to be mess-free if the Eden experiment went as God intended. That's the fairy tale: Satanic fall aside (which has no basis), we're led to believe that humankind could've persisted without any messes, even though we came from the muck and have the insufficient apparatus to be free of mess (I assume you mean conflict or whatever).

And that's IF you, as a Christian, accept evolution, which, of course, you do not. You're in an even more untenable position than your more realistic brethren.
What makes you think that Eden or even the war in heaven somehow caught God off guard? God knew perfectly well the potential consequences of creating freewill beings and had a plan in place before it even happened.

whag
06-30-2015, 11:11 AM
What makes you think that Eden or even the war in heaven somehow caught God off guard? God knew perfectly well the potential consequences of creating freewill beings and had a plan in place before it even happened.

Nowhere did I say, or even imply, that it "caught God offguard," nor does my position depend on God's being surprised by it. That God is described in the bible and as being angry/wrathful/sad about these events and subsequent consequences is, however, puzzling. As you just admitted, God (in the story) knew those falls were an inevitable consequence of free will, meaning they had to happen.

The Pixie
06-30-2015, 11:11 AM
What makes you think that Eden or even the war in heaven somehow caught God off guard? God knew perfectly well the potential consequences of creating freewill beings and had a plan in place before it even happened.
A plan that causes untold suffering for billions and earth, and then even worse for most of us after death.

Great plan God. Well, his his perspective, anyway. No, wait. God is all-loving right? He loves each and every one of us, right? Not an entirely rhetorical question as I know some Christians disagree, but the usual Christian view is he loves us all. But he still planned for most of us to literally go to hell.

See there is that implausibility thing.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 11:18 AM
Nowhere did I say, or even imply, that it "caught God offguard," nor does my position depend on God's being surprised by it. That God is described in the bible and as being angry/wrathful/sad about these events and subsequent consequences is, however, puzzling. As you just admitted, God (in the story) knew those falls were an inevitable consequence of free will, meaning they had to happen.
It's not puzzling at all when you consider the relationship between God's omniscience and man's freewill. I don't see the contradiction you're implying. And I never said it was "an inevitable consequence of free will", I said that it was a potential consequence.

whag
06-30-2015, 11:27 AM
It's not puzzling at all when you consider the relationship between God's omniscience and man's freewill. I don't see the contradiction you're implying. And I never said it was "an inevitable consequence of free will", I said that it was a potential consequence.

Potential my foot. If it happened in heaven (in the ineffable presence of God) and also the very first generation on earth, then it's inevitable and you know it. It was bound to happen is the point that the story screams to the reader. Especially when you consider we're primates, there is no way an Edenic, mess-free perfection would last.

Yes, indeed, life is messy. Of course the Bible describes the messiness of those human characters. Perfection is a fairy tale that could never be achieved with free will. You, however, believe it could have. It's fun to throw that back in your face.

whag
06-30-2015, 11:31 AM
More question begging.

And you say "6 million years", as if that time span has any significance to an eternal being who exists outside of our time/space continuum. As far as God is concerned, the final culmination of his plan -- the utter defeat of Satan and the redemption of Creation -- has already been realized. What, did you really think that rules God established on earth and bound Satan by somehow frustrated his plans in heaven? Now that is absurd to the highest degree!

You're right about time frame. It kind of renders the bible's promises for a soon return moot if even 6 million years (the length that hominids have existed) is an eyeblink.

whag
06-30-2015, 11:33 AM
The only thing I really take issue with is your declaration that the scenario as described is implausible. :shrug:

If you were in the ineffable presence of God, you wouldn't try to usurp him. Of course that's implausible.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 11:44 AM
A plan that causes untold suffering for billions and earth, and then even worse for most of us after death.

Great plan God. Well, his his perspective, anyway. No, wait. God is all-loving right? He loves each and every one of us, right? Not an entirely rhetorical question as I know some Christians disagree, but the usual Christian view is he loves us all. But he still planned for most of us to literally go to hell.

See there is that implausibility thing.
Oh, I see, it's that intellectually bankrupt "argument from evil" again. :ahem:

‘Suffering is God’s fault!’ we sneer, conveniently forgetting times our anger, greed and lies hurt others. Naturally, there is a degree of hurt we deem excusable, and for some suspicious reason the hurt we have inflicted happens to fall within the standard we arbitrarily set. It is like failing an exam and then moving the pass mark to make our score look good. A holy God could not be partner to such hypocrisy. To wipe out some people who cause suffering and spare you and me would make God guilty of gross injustice. We have each added to humanity’s shame. If there is a God of love, the people he loves and longs to place in a pain-free world are the very ones who cause humanity’s suffering.

[...]

Each moment that God suppresses his explosive urge to extinguish evil, is a moment in which billions of us have yet another chance to come to our senses and let Jesus deliver us from our infatuation with sin.

http://www.net-burst.net/hot/evil.htm#suf
If anybody goes to hell, it's only because they stubbornly rejected God's offer of reconciliation.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 11:46 AM
You're right about time frame. It kind of renders the bible's promises for a soon return moot if even 6 million years (the length that hominids have existed) is an eyeblink.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." -2 Peter 3:9

whag
06-30-2015, 11:48 AM
With only a couple dodgy verses to reference from Ezekiel and Isaiah, way too much has been extrapolated to explain Satan's motivation.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 11:51 AM
Potential my foot. If it happened in heaven (in the ineffable presence of God) and also the very first generation on earth, then it's inevitable and you know it. It was bound to happen is the point that the story screams to the reader. Especially when you consider we're primates, there is no way an Edenic, mess-free perfection would last.

Yes, indeed, life is messy. Of course the Bible describes the messiness of those human characters. Perfection is a fairy tale that could never be achieved with free will. You, however, believe it could have. It's fun to throw that back in your face.
I'm not sure what you think you're throwing in my face. Freewill does not guarantee an evil outcome.

Consider this: 2/3 of the angels never rebelled. :wink:

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 11:55 AM
If you were in the ineffable presence of God, you wouldn't try to usurp him. Of course that's implausible.
Here's your argument: "Scenario X is implausible because it's implausible for a scenario like X to occur."

I'll let you figure out why I'm not convinced. :ahem:

whag
06-30-2015, 12:28 PM
I'm not sure what you think you're throwing in my face. Freewill does not guarantee an evil outcome.

Consider this: 2/3 of the angels never rebelled. :wink:

I didn't say evil outcome. You referenced "messiness", and I responded by saying evolved primates (which is what we are) will be messy (have conflicts and such). You believe in a fairy tale Eden in which perfection was supposed to last. Of course that would never last. It never even existed. You're probably not getting it because you don't even know the history of humankind. You really believe there was a first human couple who fell.

As for the Satanic fall, that's a whole other problem you haven't addressed. Where do you get that 2/3 figure?

whag
06-30-2015, 12:40 PM
Here's your argument: "Scenario X is implausible because it's implausible for a scenario like X to occur."

I'll let you figure out why I'm not convinced. :ahem:

You're likely not convinced because you bought it hook, line, and sinker before thinking about it much or realizing how dodgy those Ezekiel and Isaiah verses are.

Only a madman would try to usurp power from someone infinitely more powerful. But that would implicate God for giving a mental defective such high office.

Mountain Man
06-30-2015, 01:18 PM
You're likely not convinced because you bought it hook, line, and sinker before thinking about it much or realizing how dodgy those Ezekiel and Isaiah verses are.

Only a madman would try to usurp power from someone infinitely more powerful. But that would implicate God for giving a mental defective such high office.
I'm not convinced because your argument is a blatant logical fallacy, you moron.

If that's all you've got then I'll bow out of the thread. As the saying goes, never argue with an idiot, because he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

whag
06-30-2015, 01:30 PM
I'm not convinced because your argument is a blatant logical fallacy, you moron.

If that's all you've got then I'll bow out of the thread. As the saying goes, never argue with an idiot, because he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

All you have is those contested verses, which you've said little about and just assume make complete sense as your religion's premise. You're bowing out for that reason, no other.

Adrift
06-30-2015, 01:58 PM
I'm not convinced because your argument is a blatant logical fallacy, you moron.

If that's all you've got then I'll bow out of the thread. As the saying goes, never argue with an idiot, because he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

I don't think he's a moron, but I think it speaks volumes that he's having what he'd label a "whack attack" against a view that he has so little understanding of. It seems he thinks that the Ezekiel and Isaiah passages are the only ones that mention Satan's fall from grace (and likely because those were the only two passages I mentioned). He didn't know where you got the 2/3's non-rebelling angels from, is apparently completely unfamiliar with the Revelation passages, and other passages that offer clues in Genesis, Luke, and 1st Timothy, nevermind the Jewish intertestamental, and contemporary 1st century literature that paints a picture of Jewish thought on the subject. But, you know, he's got it all figured, and it's all obviously ridiculous and wrong.

Such an ignorant and dishonest way of tackling unfamiliar issues. I wonder if he applies the same approach to other unfamiliar areas of his life.

whag
06-30-2015, 02:14 PM
I don't think he's a moron, but I think it speaks volumes that he's having what he'd label a "whack attack" against a view that he has so little understanding of. It seems he thinks that the Ezekiel and Isaiah passages are the only ones that mention Satan's fall from grace (and likely because those were the only two passages I mentioned). He didn't know where you got the 2/3's non-rebelling angels from, is apparently completely unfamiliar with the Revelation passages, and other passages that offer clues in Genesis, Luke, and 1st Timothy, nevermind the Jewish intertestamental, and contemporary 1st century literature that paints a picture of Jewish thought on the subject. But, you know, he's got it all figured, and it's all obviously ridiculous and wrong.

Such an ignorant and dishonest way of tackling unfamiliar issues. I wonder if he applies the same approach to other unfamiliar areas of his life.

Of course I'm aware of Revelations and the disciples' references to Satan and demons, but all of those must have been solely informed by the vague verses in the OT and, hence, are extrapolations of very much from very little. You had your opportunity to bring them up to emphasize the plausibility of it. Instead, you entered the discussion by leaping over that topic entirely. Stay out of this thread or actually engage properly without the fussing about how it taxes you. Tell us why you believe this and start at the right point, not Eden.

The Pixie
07-01-2015, 01:00 AM
I don't think he's a moron, but I think it speaks volumes that he's having what he'd label a "whack attack" against a view that he has so little understanding of. It seems he thinks that the Ezekiel and Isaiah passages are the only ones that mention Satan's fall from grace (and likely because those were the only two passages I mentioned). He didn't know where you got the 2/3's non-rebelling angels from, is apparently completely unfamiliar with the Revelation passages, and other passages that offer clues in Genesis, Luke, and 1st Timothy, nevermind the Jewish intertestamental, and contemporary 1st century literature that paints a picture of Jewish thought on the subject. But, you know, he's got it all figured, and it's all obviously ridiculous and wrong.
I think it speaks volumes that we get to page 12 before the Christians even mention these references, and even then only in the vaguest of terms.

Let us remember that you were the one who said:

"I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. ..."

A back story that could work? Why not tell us what actually happened? Well, because the Bible is so vague about it.

... other passages that offer clues in Genesis ...
There is nothing in Genesis about Satan (if you think the serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan, you must believe Satan was cursed above all livestock to eat dust and go on his belly).

... nevermind the Jewish intertestamental, and contemporary 1st century literature that paints a picture of Jewish thought on the subject ...
Why should we believe their opinions? Are their works inspired by God?

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 04:18 AM
I don't think he's a moron...
I do. Only a moron would continue to insist that a logical fallacy is a valid argument.

Adrift
07-01-2015, 05:14 AM
I do. Only a moron would continue to insist that a logical fallacy is a valid argument.

Meh, I'm convinced he only throws out the logical fallacies because he's desperate to have someone to argue with, and it doesn't take any effort at all to throw up your hands and yell "that's ridiculous!" without having read any of the passages, or knowing any of the historical context that leads people to certain interpretations.

Neither he nor Pixie actually really care about the subject. They're not attempting to have a conversation. If their tone was receptive, and cool headed people would go out of their way to work with them, and teach them what they know. But they can't go more than a post or two before their arrogance and resentment towards Christianity starts coming through. They're here for a fight. That's all. They're not dumb, they're just bitter and perhaps a bit bored.

The Pixie
07-01-2015, 05:22 AM
Neither he nor Pixie actually really care about the subject. They're not attempting to have a conversation. If their tone was receptive...
Yeah, if only they were respectful of our views, but instead they dare to question them! Why would they expect us to talk to them if they do not take what we believe on faith. It is not like this is a forum for debate on religion or anything. Oh, wait...

whag
07-01-2015, 07:06 AM
Yeah, if only they were respectful of our views, but instead they dare to question them! Why would they expect us to talk to them if they do not take what we believe on faith. It is not like this is a forum for debate on religion or anything. Oh, wait...

Didn't you get the memo? All skeptical posts must be within the parameters that Adrift has set.

I'm getting tired of Adrift's exasperated persona. Every post is preceded by something like "I don't know why I bother," which he knows is an argument escalator.

whag
07-01-2015, 07:33 AM
Meh, I'm convinced he only throws out the logical fallacies because he's desperate to have someone to argue with, and it doesn't take any effort at all to throw up your hands and yell "that's ridiculous!" without having read any of the passages, or knowing any of the historical context that leads people to certain interpretations.

Neither he nor Pixie actually really care about the subject. They're not attempting to have a conversation. If their tone was receptive, and cool headed people would go out of their way to work with them, and teach them what they know. But they can't go more than a post or two before their arrogance and resentment towards Christianity starts coming through. They're here for a fight. That's all. They're not dumb, they're just bitter and perhaps a bit bored.

I'm not bitter, just curious. It's also nothing to be ashamed of to want to discuss what the concept of a heavenly war is rooted in (even if it does rankle you and MM a bit) since my wife's family isn't interested in discussing it with me. They're not as experienced in apologetics as some here.

Like I said, there are two verses that specifically informed the belief that Satan was an angel who fell. (You forgot to mention Job, BTW, so I guess that means you didn't know about it? Or maybe it means that it's doesn't reference the Satanic fall, which is actually why I didn't mention it.)

Again, I didn't mention the NT verses about Satan because they were solely informed by the Ezekiel and Isaiah verses. If they were informed by relevant extrabiblical rabbinical literature, you missed your opportunity to cite it--which is weird because, presumably, your whole motivation for posting was to explain why you thought it quite plausible. If not, then just...leave. Your dyspepsia won't be missed. It's more indicative of insecurity than anything else.

whag
07-01-2015, 09:18 AM
I do. Only a moron would continue to insist that a logical fallacy is a valid argument.

Glad to see you back, MM. I missed your more aggressive, pissed-off approach.

shunyadragon
07-01-2015, 10:50 AM
Glad to see you back, MM. I missed your more aggressive, pissed-off approach.

Sprinkled with caustic name calling.

whag
07-01-2015, 11:29 AM
Sprinkled with caustic name calling.

Like many here, he cut his apologetic teeth on tektonik articles.

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 12:00 PM
Glad to see you back, MM. I missed your more aggressive, pissed-off approach.
Unfortunately, I can't really say I've missed your particular brand of pigheaded idiocy. :shrug:

whag
07-01-2015, 12:28 PM
Unfortunately, I can't really say I've missed your particular brand of pigheaded idiocy. :shrug:

Fortunately, you deliver confirmation of Tektonik sucksmanship in every post.

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 12:40 PM
Yet I'm not the one drooling on my keyboard and insisting that logical fallacies are valid arguments. :hehe:

whag
07-01-2015, 12:49 PM
Yet I'm not the one drooling on my keyboard and insisting that logical fallacies are valid arguments. :hehe:

Children who spit names usually have spittle on the chin. You have to defend your belief in a Satanic mutiny before I can launch into the reasons why it's implausible. I'm *shocked* you haven't done that.

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 01:03 PM
Defend it against what, you dumbass? You haven't presented an argument any more sophisticated than, "I don't believe it." There's literally no where for this debate to go.

whag
07-01-2015, 01:22 PM
Defend it against what, you dumbass? You haven't presented an argument any more sophisticated than, "I don't believe it." There's literally no where for this debate to go.

You don't engage in debates so much as flame wars. Besides, it's not so much a debate as a discussion to enlighten readers about the origins of the belief that God created an angel who believed he could usurp the throne of the most powerful being ever to exist. What makes you think that happened?

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 02:01 PM
You only think they're flame wars because you're always on the losing side. It's like when an amateur steps into the ring with a pro. It's not a contest, it's a beatdown. :wink:

Why did Satan do it? I don't entirely know, but he obviously had a good pitch to get so many angels to follow him. Should he and his coconspirators have known better? Probably. Does that make it implausible? Hardly. Life is full of people going against the odds when in hindsight, they really should have known better, and I don't find Satan's rebellion any more implausible than any other long-shot rebellion in history.

Now do you have anything other than logical fallacies and the wounded puppy routine, or are we done here?

whag
07-01-2015, 05:38 PM
You only think they're flame wars because you're always on the losing side. It's like when an amateur steps into the ring with a pro. It's not a contest, it's a beatdown. :wink:

That speaks for itself better than I could ever respond.


Why did Satan do it? I don't entirely know, but he obviously had a good pitch to get so many angels to follow him. Should he and his coconspirators have known better? Probably. Does that make it implausible? Hardly. Life is full of people going against the odds when in hindsight, they really should have known better, and I don't find Satan's rebellion any more implausible than any other long-shot rebellion in history.

I concur, earthly rebellions were common and represent the greatest quality of humanity: courage in the face of oppression and death. What did that have in common with the heavenly one? Oppression? Satan and the demons were neither oppressed and didn’t live in a climate of fear (I’m assuming they didn’t fear God like He was a tyrant or slave master).

That says nothing of the biggest difference that devastates your anthropomorphic comparison: every plantation owner and despot had manifestly finite capabilities to quash rebellions. Satan was infinitely less powerful than God and must have known it. If he didn’t know it – if he thought God an equal – you’d have mentioned that possibility as sustaining and supporting your belief, keeping doubt about the implausibility of the story at bay. (Sure, I’d view it as a rationalization, but at least I’d respect you for detailing your cognitive process rather than ad homming with well-worn cliches.)


Now do you have anything other than logical fallacies and the wounded puppy routine, or are we done here?

You can leave if you like or stay. I told you I missed you, and I meant it.

Mountain Man
07-01-2015, 09:09 PM
I concur, earthly rebellions were common and represent the greatest quality of humanity: courage in the face of oppression and death.
Nice self-serving example. :ahem:

There are also countless examples on the opposite end of the spectrum of people who rebel because of the worst quality of humanity: pride. And that's exactly what happened to Satan.

"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings." -Ezekiel 28:17

Pride can cause us to do a lot of stupid things. There's nothing implausible about that.

whag
07-01-2015, 09:52 PM
Nice self-serving example. :ahem:

There are also countless examples on the opposite end of the spectrum of people who rebel because of the worst quality of humanity: pride. And that's exactly what happened to Satan.

Can you give an example of a long-shot rebellion triggered by pride rather than oppression and/or tyranny? Also, you conveniently skipped over the point I made about Satan being fully aware that he was infinitely less powerful than God. Any earthy example you provide would necessarily involve people fighting people.


"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings." -Ezekiel 28:17

Um, what? What does "Made a spectacle of you before kings" even mean in the Satanic context? That's a contested passage that obviously has nothing to do with Satan. Hell, even Holding doesn't think it refers to Satan from what I remember.


Pride can cause us to do a lot of stupid things. There's nothing implausible about that.

*ahem* There is if the one you've chosen to war with is infinitely more powerful than you.

Mountain Man
07-02-2015, 04:52 AM
Can you give an example of a long-shot rebellion triggered by pride rather than oppression and/or tyranny? Also, you conveniently skipped over the point I made about Satan being fully aware that he was infinitely less powerful than God. Any earthy example you provide would necessarily involve people fighting people.


Um, what? What does "Made a spectacle of you before kings" even mean in the Satanic context? That's a contested passage that obviously has nothing to do with Satan. Hell, even Holding doesn't think it refers to Satan from what I remember.


*ahem* There is if the one you've chosen to war with is infinitely more powerful than you.
Really? You can't think of a single instance in all of human history where pride has caused someone to go up against impossible odds and get their butt soundly kicked? Gee, it's almost like you don't want to be convinced that Satan's rebellion isn't as "implausible" as you claim. :ahem:

Could Satan win? Of course not. As you've repeatedly pointed out, he was going up against God himself. Did he think he could win? Obviously. Otherwise he and his coconspirators wouldn't have rebelled. What's especially interesting is that it was the other angels who fought against Satan and his army and not God himself (Revelation 12). Perhaps this is a clue that Satan knew that God would not intervene directly, for whatever reason, which gave him confidence that he could actually succeed.

As for the Ezekiel 28 passage, read the whole thing in context and it's pretty obvious that it's referring to Satan. It's a prophecy against the king of Tyre using the fall of Satan as an analogy (for one thing, kings aren't "guardian cherubs".

Bottom line: Satan's rebellion against God is in no way implausible, and you have not presented even a hint of an argument to convince me that it is.

MaxVel
07-02-2015, 06:42 AM
The inevitability of Satanic and Adamic falls would seem to counter that statement. The idea of rules that he created constraining him such that 6 million years of suffering were necessary is, of course, absurd to the highest degree.



They’re doubting because of the context I described above. Doubt is the default position precisely because the story sounds like bollocks, requiring the sort of tortuous anthropomorphic rationalizations that most religions (that want to be taken literally) use.

Now if only you had a backstory that wasn't a few dubious verses from Ezekiel and Isaiah, you'd have a stronger case to make.

Who needs a counter-argument against an appeal to incredulity? Anything I provided could be shrugged off with a 'Well I don't find that believable.'

Also - there's a certain irony in this: An atheist, who accepts the whole 'completely unguided evolution' thing, and rejects all the fine tuning arguments finds the behaviour of people in the Bible 'implausible' because it's statistically unlikely?

whag
07-02-2015, 07:42 AM
Really? You can't think of a single instance in all of human history where pride has caused someone to go up against impossible odds and get their butt soundly kicked? Gee, it's almost like you don't want to be convinced that Satan's rebellion isn't as "implausible" as you claim. :ahem:

No, and you apparently can't, either. The only "impossible odds" rebellions I can think of (that weren't triggered by oppression) are jail riots. Those rebels are typically desperate idiots and/or criminally insane and have nothing to lose. Satan had everything to lose. He wasn't an idiot, and he wasn't mentally defective. He was almost perfect, you believe.


Could Satan win? Of course not. As you've repeatedly pointed out, he was going up against God himself. Did he think he could win? Obviously. Otherwise he and his coconspirators wouldn't have rebelled. What's especially interesting is that it was the other angels who fought against Satan and his army and not God himself (Revelation 12). Perhaps this is a clue that Satan knew that God would not intervene directly, for whatever reason, which gave him confidence that he could actually succeed.

Again, that's mythology informed by the dubious OT verses.


As for the Ezekiel 28 passage, read the whole thing in context and it's pretty obvious that it's referring to Satan. It's a prophecy against the king of Tyre using the fall of Satan as an analogy (for one thing, kings aren't "guardian cherubs".)

Um....no. If it were "pretty obvious," it wouldn't be contested. It's not obvious to me, and it's not obvious to Holding and others who, to their credit, are at least honest about that passage's difficulties.


Bottom line: Satan's rebellion against God is in no way implausible, and you have not presented even a hint of an argument to convince me that it is.

Yes, I have, which is why you're still here rather than bowing out like you said you would.

Adrift
07-02-2015, 08:00 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coups_d'%C3%A9tat_and_coup_attempts

whag
07-02-2015, 08:18 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coups_d'%C3%A9tat_and_coup_attempts

You've resorted to ABW. Did you read how many coups were successful, therefore not impossible odds?

Maybe the missing piece here is yours and MM's belief that God kept his glory hidden from the angels to test them and see if they'd fight him. That'd be an interesting perspective.

whag
07-02-2015, 09:22 AM
Who needs a counter-argument against an appeal to incredulity? Anything I provided could be shrugged off with a 'Well I don't find that believable.'

Also - there's a certain irony in this: An atheist, who accepts the whole 'completely unguided evolution' thing, and rejects all the fine tuning arguments finds the behaviour of people in the Bible 'implausible' because it's statistically unlikely?

Anything I say will be similarly shrugged off by you, and you know it. That's a moot point. Think of it as an enlightening discussion to sharpen your faith, not a childish contest with victory as the endgoal.

Re: evolution: volumes of hard evidence prove that it happens despite your imagined "statistical unlikelihood." However unlikely you think it is for a limb to evolve into a wing, we have the evidence of that particular morphology and the factors that drive it.

BTW, Mountain Man doesn't believe evolution happened, which means he's incredulous. Interesting.

Mountain Man
07-02-2015, 11:10 AM
BTW, Mountain Man doesn't believe evolution happened, which means he's incredulous. Interesting.
Before putting words in my mouth, you might trouble yourself to find out what I actually believe. In fact, I'm agnostic as to the whole "evolution vs creationism" debate. I think there are good arguments on both sides and that the two positions aren't wholly irreconcilable if only the two sides could stop trying so hard to push an agenda and actually look for common ground. I don't much care for the "If evolution is true then the Bible is false/If the Bible is true then evolution is false" dogma which tends to dominate most origins discussions.

Mountain Man
07-02-2015, 11:22 AM
[Satan] wasn't an idiot...
I think the facts of the story suggest otherwise. That's the problem with pride, it compels you do sometimes stupid things when you really should know better.


Yes, I have, which is why you're still here rather than bowing out like you said you would.
Whatever helps you hold your head high after closing your web browser, but from where I'm sitting, the debate looks very one-sided. I mean, you're not even trying to mount a decent counter argument which makes my feel like you're just trolling at this point. :shrug:

Yeah, I really am done.

whag
07-02-2015, 11:27 AM
Before putting words in my mouth, you might trouble yourself to find out what I actually believe. In fact, I'm agnostic as to the whole "evolution vs creationism" debate. I think there are good arguments on both sides and that the two positions aren't wholly irreconcilable if only the two sides could stop trying so hard to push an agenda and actually look for common ground. I don't much care for the "If evolution is true then the Bible is false/If the Bible is true then evolution is false" dogma which tends to dominate most origins discussions.

You once called Lucy a hoax. I presumed you rejected evolution from that stunningly idiotic claim. There's no excuse to reject the strong proofs of evolution simply because you observe extreme agendas. You're a primate whether you like it or not.

whag
07-02-2015, 11:41 AM
I think the facts of the story suggest otherwise. That's the problem with pride, it compels you do sometimes stupid things when you really should know better.

Hard to imagine God appointing certified idiots to high office. That's a problematic rationalization that helps you believe it. I can't rationalize in a way that creates more problems than it solves.


Whatever helps you hold your head high after closing your web browser, but from where I'm sitting, the debate looks very one-sided. I mean, you're not even trying to mount a decent counter argument which makes my feel like you're just trolling at this point. :shrug:

Yeah, I really am done.

I will miss you.

Mountain Man
07-02-2015, 03:48 PM
Re. Lucy: I know I said I was done, but I can't let a falsehood like that stand. I never called Lucy a hoax in the sense that the bones were fabricated. The bones were genuine enough. It's some of the claims made about them that were dubious, calling it a "missing link", for one, and drawing the broadest of conclusions from the slimmest of evidence.

And calling Satan a "certified idiot" is just more of your pigheaded question begging. I should have known better than to enter a debate with a moron who's sole argument is "I don't believe it." Maybe my pride got the better of me. :wink:

Mountain Man
07-02-2015, 03:50 PM
Double

whag
07-02-2015, 04:31 PM
Re. Lucy: I know I said I was done, but I can't let a falsehood like that stand. I never called Lucy a hoax in the sense that the bones were fabricated. The bones were genuine enough. It's some of the claims made about them that were dubious, where they drew the broadest of conclusions from the slimmest of evidence.

And calling Satan a "certified idiot" is just more of your pigheaded question begging.

You called him an idiot.


I should have known better than to enter a debate with a moron who's sole argument is "I don't believe it." Maybe my pride got the better of me. :wink:

You called it a hoax with the implication that an atheist agenda was being pushed based on a small sample. You did that without thinking to check if other A. afarensis fossils found since Lucy corroborated the claims about Lucy. That's classic creotard. You used the talking points of the Christian anti-evo agenda you claim makes you "agnostic" about evolution. No one who's impartial would make that grievous mistake in an evolution discussion.

MaxVel
07-02-2015, 08:13 PM
Anything I say will be similarly shrugged off by you, and you know it. That's a moot point. Think of it as an enlightening discussion to sharpen your faith, not a childish contest with victory as the endgoal.

But you haven't really said anything, apart from 'I find it unbelievable.' Citing and criticizing the limited evidence that supports this particular sub-area of Christian theology doesn't really show that it is incorrect or false, especially in the larger context of the whole Christian worldview, which is supported by 'volumes of evidence.'




Re: evolution: volumes of hard evidence prove that it happens despite your imagined "statistical unlikelihood." However unlikely you think it is for a limb to evolve into a wing, we have the evidence of that particular morphology and the factors that drive it.

BTW, Mountain Man doesn't believe evolution happened, which means he's incredulous. Interesting.


You're responding to something I didn't say.

whag
07-02-2015, 08:45 PM
But you haven't really said anything, apart from 'I find it unbelievable.' Citing and criticizing the limited evidence that supports this particular sub-area of Christian theology doesn't really show that it is incorrect or false, especially in the larger context of the whole Christian worldview, which is supported by 'volumes of evidence.'

I've said much more than "I find it unbelievable," and you know it.







You're responding to something I didn't say.

I responded to your absurd comparison of evolution statistics to the Satanic mutiny, which has no evidence and that you accept without question. Choose to believe it or not, I don't care. I doubt it because I've thought it through.

Tassman
07-02-2015, 08:55 PM
But you haven't really said anything, apart from 'I find it unbelievable.' Citing and criticizing the limited evidence that supports this particular sub-area of Christian theology doesn't really show that it is incorrect or false, especially in the larger context of the whole Christian worldview, which is supported by 'volumes of evidence.'

What "volumes of evidence" that support the "larger context of the whole Christian world-view"? I know of no substantive evidence that does this.

37818
07-03-2015, 12:04 AM
That paragraph by Adrift mentions the fall of man, but looks to me to be more about Satan.OK. You only cited the part about man.


You say two prophecies of the fall of Satan, does that mean the fall had not happened at the time Isaiah and Ezekiel were writing? When (approximately) do you think it happened?OK, maybe you are not following the interpretation. It would be before the creation of man. In the fall the Serpent we interpret to be Satan, tempts Eve with his sin to be as God (Genesis 3:5).


Given you see Isaiah 14 as referring to the King of Babylon, in what sense is that a reference to Satan? Was Satan the King of Babylon? Lucifer is a name derived from a sarcastic description, the shining one. The shining one is not a name in the Hebrew. Most (all?) modern Bibles have dropped the word Lucifer altogether.A fallen one from heaven is the basis of the association, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning!" Again in the Latin, "quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer."


Similarly, given Ezekiel was talking about the Prince of Tyre, I wonder about the connection to Satan. Sure, the hyperbole used mentions "an anointed guardian cherub" and "You were in Eden, the garden of God", but this is to emphasise the arrogance and pride of the human prince.Yes. And that association is the basis of the interpretation regarding the fall of the anointed cherub to become Satan.


Look at the Parallel Commentaries on the verses towards the bottom of this page:
http://biblehub.com/ezekiel/28-13.htm

Again, those two prophecies are against those two rulers. And because of perceived association and the language, they are interpreted to be also explanations about the fall of the one we call Satan.

There is what the text says and there are interpretations. Two different things.

37818
07-03-2015, 12:12 AM
With only a couple dodgy verses to reference from Ezekiel and Isaiah, way too much has been extrapolated to explain Satan's motivation.So you discount the concept that he wanted to be God or to have that type of authority. The associations are there.

MaxVel
07-03-2015, 01:36 AM
What "volumes of evidence" that support the "larger context of the whole Christian world-view"? I know of no substantive evidence that does this.

After all these years posting on TWeb, you're still utterly ignorant?

Perhaps you should realize that you're just not mentally equipped to contribute anything of substance here.

MaxVel
07-03-2015, 02:06 AM
I've said much more than "I find it unbelievable," and you know it.

On re-reading the whole thread, you're right.


You've also mentioned 'wild speculations' and called it 'implausible', IIRC. But I think my summary was fair: You find the evidence insufficient to overcome your skepticism. It's not believable to you.






I responded to your absurd comparison of evolution statistics to the Satanic mutiny, which has no evidence and that you accept without question. Choose to believe it or not, I don't care. I doubt it because I've thought it through.


(1) You responded to what you thought I said, not what I actually said.

(2) You have no idea what I believe about the Satanic rebellion, or why I believe it. So stop making an ass of yourself trying to pick a fight.

(3) You're annoyed at Adrift, CP, Mountain Man, me (I guess) and others because we see you for what you are. Relax, stop trying to 'win' and defeat Christianity in every second post or thread you make. That you can't have a civil discussion with anyone but Shunyadragon speaks volumes, and it ain't flattering to you.

Juvenal
07-03-2015, 02:55 AM
Don't know why I'm bothering, but...

I think this cast of characters works fine if we understand the backstory. Here's a backstory that could work. God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but Adam gave up this dominion through disobedience. The one who deceived Adam inherited his dominion [...]

Your story proposes a lawful God granting rewards for a successful deception. Sounds dubious to me.

whag
07-03-2015, 05:26 AM
On re-reading the whole thread, you're right.


Not trying to fight just start a discussion. I honestly have no clue why so much has been extrapolated from so little in the verses. Let's start fresh now that MM has left. He wasn't helping.

The Pixie
07-03-2015, 10:30 AM
OK. You only cited the part about man.
Ah, right.

OK, maybe you are not following the interpretation. It would be before the creation of man. In the fall the Serpent we interpret to be Satan, tempts Eve with his sin to be as God (Genesis 3:5).
So in your view, God allowed Satan into the Garden of Eden, despite Satan leading a rebellion against him. Further, God allowed Satan to tempt Eve. And, because Satan had tempted Eve, God decided to curse all snakes?

Is that right? Is it coherent?

A fallen one from heaven is the basis of the association, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning!" Again in the Latin, "quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer."
I know we get the word "lucifer" via the Latin; how does that help your case this has anything to do with Satan?

Isaiah 14 is a taunt against a king of Babylon. I have no idea how you can argue otherwise, the text is very clear:

Isaiah 14:3 When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

Yes. And that association is the basis of the interpretation regarding the fall of the anointed cherub to become Satan.
Are you saying the prince of Tyre is being likened to Satan?

Again, those two prophecies are against those two rulers. And because of perceived association and the language, they are interpreted to be also explanations about the fall of the one we call Satan.
We know these verses are about the two rulers, what evidence is there that they are also about Satan?

It seems to me you have a circular argument. These verses say Satan is a fallen angel, therefore Satan must be a fallen angel, therefore these verses that mention a fallen angel must be about Satan.

There is what the text says and there are interpretations. Two different things.
You sum it up in that last paragraph There is what the text actually say, and then there is the interpretation Christians have put upon it. s you so well say, two very different things.

whag
07-03-2015, 10:46 AM
After all these years posting on TWeb, you're still utterly ignorant?

Perhaps you should realize that you're just not mentally equipped to contribute anything of substance here.

Your ad hom is beginning to grate on my nerves. Please stay out of this thread.

whag
07-03-2015, 10:50 AM
So you discount the concept that he wanted to be God or to have that type of authority. The associations are there.

Yes, that's the part I doubt. I think that Satan, being in the ineffable presence of God, would know that usurping God was impossible.

Juvenal
07-03-2015, 11:31 AM
Yes, that's the part I doubt. I think that Satan, being in the ineffable presence of God, would know that usurping God was impossible.

Or maybe it's not. That whole "God let him have dominion over the Earth thing" sounds like God making excuses for losing to me.

whag
07-03-2015, 12:14 PM
Or maybe it's not. That whole "God let him have dominion over the Earth thing" sounds like God making excuses for losing to me.

In tying God's hands and winning so many souls (who God loves), Satan seems to have the powers of a deity. The story of Satan has the stench of Zoroastrian dualism about it, even though it's been majorly modified theologically.

Tassman
07-03-2015, 09:56 PM
After all these years posting on TWeb, you're still utterly ignorant?

Perhaps you should realize that you're just not mentally equipped to contribute anything of substance here.

So you're unable to present "volumes of evidence" that support the "larger context of the whole Christian world-view" as you claimed? Thought not! There's very little evidence and none of it's good evidence.

MaxVel
07-03-2015, 10:42 PM
So you're unable to present "volumes of evidence" that support the "larger context of the whole Christian world-view" as you claimed? Thought not! There's very little evidence and none of it's good evidence.

Are you a troll? :troll: Or just obtuse and unable to read in context?

You've already watered down your first claim, and made sure you have a safe avenue of retreat when this claim is shown to be silly too. Can't you ever engage in an actual discussion, or does everything have to be some kind of points-scoring exercise to prove Christians wrong about everything? You really must be insecure about your own beliefs if you have to denigrate others' at every turn.

MaxVel
07-03-2015, 10:51 PM
Not trying to fight just start a discussion. I honestly have no clue why so much has been extrapolated from so little in the verses. Let's start fresh now that MM has left. He wasn't helping.

Briefly:

A belief in spiritual beings (apart from people) seems entirely consistent with the rest of the Christian worldview, and with the beliefs of the bulk of humanity over time, and today.

The Bible does clearly indicate that there are malevolent spiritual beings 'out there', and there is plenty of other testimony to that effect. So it's not based on sketchy evidence, although you may rationally disbelieve, IMHO.

The Bible (I agree) doesn't say a lot on just who those beings are, or how it came about that they exist, but I think it reasonable to accept that they (like everything else) are created beings. So how did they come to be evil? Some kind of rebellion against God, and subsequent fall seems to me the most likely explanation.

whag
07-04-2015, 07:41 AM
First, there's real forward momentum here, now. Sincerely, thank you for engaging and not resorting to ad hominem, Max.


Briefly:
A belief in spiritual beings (apart from people) seems entirely consistent with the rest of the Christian worldview, and with the beliefs of the bulk of humanity over time, and today.

Totally in agreement here. It'd be hard to excise that belief from Christianity and have a Christianity that remotely resembles orthodox. Satan, angels, demons are an essential part of the cast.


The Bible does clearly indicate that there are malevolent spiritual beings 'out there', and there is plenty of other testimony to that effect. So it's not based on sketchy evidence, although you may rationally disbelieve, IMHO.

I'm not following you here as much on the voluminous "testimony" being evidence, but maybe that's what you meant by my having permission to disbelieve it. Let me rationalize three examples:

The Gadarene demoniac: I'd call this example "sketchy" in the sense that he was a naked man, and men have been known to make a public show of themselves as an expression of obvious mental illness.

Augustine's incubi (http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2007/11/augustine-and-incubi.html): I'd perceive a rash of men committing night rapes as "serial rapists," not malevolent beings from another dimension (presumably what's meant by "out there").

Mike Licona's 2nd hand demon testimony (starting at 42:20) (http://ia802701.us.archive.org/10/items/ConversationsFromThePaleBlueDot002-MikeLicona/002-MikeLicona.mp3): If there’s a reason this story is not sketchy, can you tell me?

If the bulk of human testimony in the aggregate is what convinces you, I can understand that. So long as you acknowledge there’s rational reason to doubt (as you did), we’re making stupendous progress in this discussion.


The Bible (I agree) doesn't say a lot on just who those beings are, or how it came about that they exist, but I think it reasonable to accept that they (like everything else) are created beings. So how did they come to be evil? Some kind of rebellion against God, and subsequent fall seems to me the most likely explanation.

*slow clap* That’s a cogent summation of apologia for the belief and precisely what previous posters failed to accomplish. Thank you for not leaving the thread like I requested! =)

MaxVel
07-04-2015, 09:21 AM
First, there's real forward momentum here, now. Sincerely, thank you for engaging and not resorting to ad hominem, Max.

Totally in agreement here. It'd be hard to excise that belief from Christianity and have a Christianity that remotely resembles orthodox. Satan, angels, demons are an essential part of the cast.

:thumb:

(I don't think I actually did resort to Ad Hominem - he was trolling - but :shrug: )




I'm not following you here as much on the voluminous "testimony" being evidence, but maybe that's what you meant by my having permission to disbelieve it. Let me rationalize three examples:

The Gadarene demoniac: I'd call this example "sketchy" in the sense that he was a naked man, and men have been known to make a public show of themselves as an expression of obvious mental illness.

Augustine's incubi (http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2007/11/augustine-and-incubi.html): I'd perceive a rash of men committing night rapes as "serial rapists," not malevolent beings from another dimension (presumably what's meant by "out there").

Mike Licona's 2nd hand demon testimony (starting at 42:20) (http://ia802701.us.archive.org/10/items/ConversationsFromThePaleBlueDot002-MikeLicona/002-MikeLicona.mp3): If there’s a reason this story is not sketchy, can you tell me?

If the bulk of human testimony in the aggregate is what convinces you, I can understand that. So long as you acknowledge there’s rational reason to doubt (as you did), we’re making stupendous progress in this discussion.

Well, I live in a country of 60 million +, and the vast bulk of them actively believe in ghosts, evil spirits and so on. And many people here have had what they believe to be experiences with these kinds of things. AFAIK there are numerous other countries where the bulk of the population believes in these kinds of things as well. A fair chunk of SE Asia; India; the Middle East; Africa; and I guess large parts of South and Central America. So, although the 'theology' may differ, there seems to be a broad consensus that there are evil spirits 'out there'. And people's testimonies to that effect are evidence that such spirits do exist.

All that said, it can be rational not to believe that evil spirits exist. That would depend on things like what evidence one has, how one has analysed that evidence, what other explanation one has for the evidence, and so on. So it can be rational not to believe.

{Note: this is not the same as 'All disbelief is rational'. Neither belief nor disbelief per se in Christianity and associated beliefs is rationally justified - it depends on how one has approached the evidence }




*slow clap* That’s a cogent summation of apologia for the belief and precisely what previous posters failed to accomplish. Thank you for not leaving the thread like I requested! =)

:thumb:

Tassman
07-05-2015, 01:00 AM
:thumb:

(I don't think I actually did resort to Ad Hominem - he was trolling - but :shrug: )

Nonsense! You made a sweeping claim which I asked you to substantiate. And, as I thought, you couldn't.


Well, I live in a country of 60 million +, and the vast bulk of them actively believe in ghosts, evil spirits and so on. And many people here have had what they believe to be experiences with these kinds of things. AFAIK there are numerous other countries where the bulk of the population believes in these kinds of things as well. A fair chunk of SE Asia; India; the Middle East; Africa; and I guess large parts of South and Central America. So, although the 'theology' may differ, there seems to be a broad consensus that there are evil spirits 'out there'. And people's testimonies to that effect are evidence that such spirits do exist.

All that said, it can be rational not to believe that evil spirits exist. That would depend on things like what evidence one has, how one has analysed that evidence, what other explanation one has for the evidence, and so on. So it can be rational not to believe.

{Note: this is not the same as 'All disbelief is rational'. Neither belief nor disbelief per se in Christianity and associated beliefs is rationally justified - it depends on how one has approached the evidence }

Indeed there is such broad consensus, especially in the country to which you refer, i.e. Thailand where I'm also based, but then Thais tend to be a superstitious people in many areas of life. More to the point the belief in evil spirits doesn't necessarily make them true. It's interesting that everywhere in the world the better educated tend not to accept the existence of such entities.

shunyadragon
07-05-2015, 04:43 AM
Indeed there is such broad consensus, especially in the country to which you refer, i.e. Thailand where I'm also based, but then Thais tend to be a superstitious people in many areas of life. More to the point the belief in evil spirits doesn't necessarily make them true. It's interesting that everywhere in the world the better educated tend not to accept the existence of such entities.

The Dubious plots and casts is indeed universal with humanity, as are many other attributes that make us human. These beliefs are far too anecdotal to be a reasonable argument for the existence of God. Based on the evidence it becomes even more unreasonable that one 'dubious plot and caste' is true and all the others are false, or evil.

I believe in an apothatic 'Source' some call God(s) without the 'Dubious plots and casts. My argument for my beliefs avoids this faulty reasoning.

Rushing Jaws
07-25-2015, 12:49 PM
I would hope that any honest Christian will concede that the narratives found in the Bible are simply hard to believe. The fact of the matter is that the supernatural, miraculous interventions and/or manifestations recounted in the biblical text are so utterly foreign to our experiences that we are left struggling to believe that they literally happened. It's certainly not a logical impossibility, but taking into consideration the context of the text (my tribal deity vs. your tribal deity) which is from an ancient people with a primitive worldview, well, it's rather difficult to believe that they were just recordin' literal history.

With that said, I do in fact believe that the one true God revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and more-or-less interacted with them in the manner described in the biblical text. However, I do have my doubts and often say to the Lord: "I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief"..and he does. :smile:## The narratives in the Bible are far too varied to be treated as being all equally hard or easy to believe. David's adultery is not hard to believe, in the way that an alleged miracle might be. And what makes miracles hard to believe in the first place ? I can honestly say that I have not the slightest difficulty believing that the miracles in the Bible may happened. If Jesus Christ is indeed God Incarnate, and promised that His disciples would do greater works than His, I would be very surprised if the Church's life were free of miracles. What I do find impossible to believe is the cessationist position that God no longer works miracles. I realise that it can claim some distinguished names in its favour, but I think it imprisons the Holy Spirit in the Apostolic Age. Not all Christians struggle to believe in the reality of miracles.

IMHO, it is a misconception to regard miracles as historical, at least without qualification and explanation. That sounds too much like saying that God is historical. But that is perhaps a different question.