Questions for christians: more trinitarianism

zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Questions for christians: more trinitarianism

The doctrine of the trinity remains an ambiguous topic. There are some ongoing discussions about the role jesus plays in the trinity (1,2); I am seeking clarification on some other points of trinitarian confusion, primarily in regard to the 3rd member.

1) What exactly does the holy spirit do, which cannot be accomplished by the father and son?

2) If the holy spirit is the one who impregnated the virgin, then why is the father called “the father”?

3) I’m assuming that the son and the holy spirit always existed, alongside the father. Had man not sinned, would there be any need for them? Did they serve any function prior to the creation (and fall) of man?

It would be good if these get clarified before anyone tries to tell us again why “the Blasphemy Challenge doesn’t work.

Thank you in advance.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


lnda
Posts: 1
Joined: 2010-10-05
User is offlineOffline
very good article

that is a very nice post based on reality.

http://www.logo-genie.com/landing-page-design/index.html


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote:The

zarathustra wrote:
The doctrine of the trinity remains an ambiguous topic. There are some ongoing discussions about the role jesus plays in the trinity (1,2); I am seeking clarification on some other points of trinitarian confusion, primarily in regard to the 3rd member.

1) What exactly does the holy spirit do, which cannot be accomplished by the father and son?

Quick synopsis:

1) Father: outside of space and time, invisible, omniscient, omnipotent, etc. The self-sustaining foundation of the Godhead

2) Son: inside of space and time, observable at times, not omniscient (can't observe the entirety of the future), power and knowledge subject to the Father. The representation of God

3) Spirit: omnipresent, active force in the world. The force keeping everything together and creating change

zarathustra wrote:
2) If the holy spirit is the one who impregnated the virgin, then why is the father called “the father”?

haha, is this serious? Sorry, I wasn't sure if you were trolling with that one or not. God the Father is our father in the sense that we have spirits like him, that we can love, have compassion, intellectual intelligence, good intentions, etc.

zarathustra wrote:
3) I’m assuming that the son and the holy spirit always existed, alongside the father. Had man not sinned, would there be any need for them? Did they serve any function prior to the creation (and fall) of man?

It's not so much about need as it is about love. If there were only one person of God from the beginning, and it was only God alone for awhile, then the strength of the argument that God is love would be much, much weaker (I'd say it couldn't be made). God is love because God is a community, of loving persons who treat each other equally. Yes, the Son does defer to the Father, but because He is inherently greater than him. But as I've said before, the trinity is interdependent. Sure, the Son wouldn't exist without the Father, but the Father wouldn't even exist without the Son, because then He wouldn't be a father at all... the entire nature of His being would be non-existent. Without someone to love, He could not in fact be a lover. And the exchange of their love wouldn't be possible without the Spirit.

zarathustra wrote:
It would be good if these get clarified before anyone tries to tell us again why “the Blasphemy Challenge doesn’t work.

Thank you in advance.

Sure. Oh, that's for very different reasons. That's because the claim about blaspheming the Holy Spirit was made by Jesus against the religious leaders who were equating His ministry with Satan's. How can an atheist make a claim like that? They were saying that His ministry of restoring the outcast and the downtrodden, healing the sick, hanging out with the despised, etc, was inspired by the enemy of mankind and of God. It was a very twisted, outrageous claim to make and one designed to make him their political prisoner. But the blasphemy was much like the warning, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil." (Isaiah 5:20) Are most of the atheists who take the blasphemy challenge going out and telling charities that their services are inspired by evil agendas? No, I think not.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
The evidence of the nature

The evidence of the nature of the Universe, the flaws in our 'design', and the history of the World, is that if there is a God, He is evil.

It is in many cases the Christian and/or the Bible which calls Evil Good and vice versa.

We may not be able to absolutely prove there is no God being of some form, but it requires wilful blindness to claim such a being is 'Good'.

And your justification for why God is called a 'Father' is a complete non sequitur. Those qualities are learned from either or both parents, or friends, IOW from anyone we socialize a lot with - they are not logically or necessarily associated with fathers.

If you had said because he was the creator of the Universe, that would have made some sense, but as a response to a very good point, it fails.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
The thing that bugs me about

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

 

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:The thing

mellestad wrote:

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

Of course, the whole Theist system is riddled with that - you start with assumptions, gut-feelings, intuitions, acceptance of holy texts, then it is just a matter of finding a way to describe and 'explain' it....

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:The

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence of the nature of the Universe, the flaws in our 'design', and the history of the World, is that if there is a God, He is evil.

I disagree. The law of entropy is in effect because of the incompleteness of our original creation, awaiting the new, full and complete creation, according to Christian scripture ( Romans 8 ), and possibly even because of the fall of the twisted trans-dimensional being often called Lucifer (or light-bearer).

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is in many cases the Christian and/or the Bible which calls Evil Good and vice versa.

You mean if you take passages out of context?

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
We may not be able to absolutely prove there is no God being of some form, but it requires wilful blindness to claim such a being is 'Good'.

Actually it would be illogical to claim that the most transcendent being of all would not be good - after all, everything good came from him.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
And your justification for why God is called a 'Father' is a complete non sequitur. Those qualities are learned from either or both parents, or friends, IOW from anyone we socialize a lot with - they are not logically or necessarily associated with fathers.

I was talking about the capacity for such things. Even a feral child has the 'capacity' for them.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
If you had said because he was the creator of the Universe, that would have made some sense, but as a response to a very good point, it fails.

I did mean that. Acknowledging God as Father (which he already is for everyone) comes through acknowledging Him as Creator. The two ideas are linked, but one is a bit more impersonal on its own (creator). Yet it is not on its own and anyone acknowledging God as Creator will come to know him as Father, too. I mean the analogy does work - after all, earthly fathers are also creators, and our God takes care of us, whether we acknowledge him or not.


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:The thing

mellestad wrote:

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

 

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

 

Actually, that's the way it came about. The Jews were very empirical. They tended to need to see things in order to believe them, and they recorded things very accurately. Through their encounters with the Word of God (and later the Memra of God, in Arabic), who was a living, breathing being that appeared to many of them, they came to know that there was the visible and invisible YHWH. In fact, monotheism isn't a clear enough term to describe their beliefs. Neither is monolatry or henotheism and definitely not polytheism, according to Michael Heiser, PhD, although YHWH had many sons who together with Him constituted the divine council that we see in Job and elsewhere. But the Word of God was a special son of a different essence who perfectly represented the invisible YHWH, the very essence of existence.

You may say - but of course! Even if they did see the visible YHWH, the Word of God, they didn't see the invisible YHWH, later called the Father. But if an all-powerful supernatural being appeared to you and said that his very essence was dependent upon a greater being whom by the very definition of his being could not be seen, would you not tend to believe him?

And as for the Spirit - that was the presence of God that was experientially known among the peoples of God and especially the early Christians through not only signs and wonders but in the unity and love that bonded them together and the direction given to them throughout their lives. This part of God too is invisible, but you have to remember that energy is usually invisible to us.


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
Also, I think C.S. Lewis

Also, I think C.S. Lewis makes a really great point in this vein when he outlines the distinctions thus:

 

The Father is our destination, the Son is the pathway to get there, and the Spirit is the force inside of us leading us onward. 


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
stellar renegade

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

 

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

 

Actually, that's the way it came about. The Jews were very empirical. They tended to need to see things in order to believe them, and they recorded things very accurately. Through their encounters with the Word of God (and later the Memra of God, in Arabic), who was a living, breathing being that appeared to many of them, they came to know that there was the visible and invisible YHWH. In fact, monotheism isn't a clear enough term to describe their beliefs. Neither is monolatry or henotheism and definitely not polytheism, according to Michael Heiser, PhD, although YHWH had many sons who together with Him constituted the divine council that we see in Job and elsewhere. But the Word of God was a special son of a different essence who perfectly represented the invisible YHWH, the very essence of existence.

You may say - but of course! Even if they did see the visible YHWH, the Word of God, they didn't see the invisible YHWH, later called the Father. But if an all-powerful supernatural being appeared to you and said that his very essence was dependent upon a greater being whom by the very definition of his being could not be seen, would you not tend to believe him?

And as for the Spirit - that was the presence of God that was experientially known among the peoples of God and especially the early Christians through not only signs and wonders but in the unity and love that bonded them together and the direction given to them throughout their lives. This part of God too is invisible, but you have to remember that energy is usually invisible to us.

I suppose I can see that.  Granted, every one of the assumptions that led to that is something I would consider invalid, but if you assume those things as facts, then it makes more sense to come up with the trinity idea to explain the inconsistencies.

Just not as much sense as not making the assumptions in the first place Laughing out loud

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:I'm glad your

jcgadfly wrote:
I'm glad your relationship with God formed your understanding. How did you make the jump from one God to three? Do you have an equal relationship with each or do they take shifts?

haha, I like that question, actually. But as I just posted, the relationships are completely different. I'll give you a kind of personal take on this. To me, the Father is the One behind all of creation, yet intimately intertwined with it all. He's the One I came back home to after so many years of searching. Before this it seems as if I only knew the Son (which explains the faith of many) because my understanding was fairly spotty and my faith was more external and seemingly dependent upon the weather. But through a hellish experience that I went through where I was totally stripped away, I began to see the face of the Father. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't actually seeing a literal face - but when I was walking around breathing in nature, looking at the seagulls dipping into the pond and watching a beautiful sunset, I felt His love immensely through everything, and somehow - I'm not sure how - I got this sense that I never had before that there was a love reaching out for me from beyond all visible existence, and through it. It was at once personal yet not personal in the human sense. At first I wasn't totally aware that it was a person at all, only as I kept turning my internal eyes to the fact, and the awareness grew in me, especially when I looked at the sunset, and the experience just swallowed me up and I realized that my Father knew the real me and had loved me all along...

 

Again, don't get me wrong - I had known the Father all along through the Son, because the Son is the Father in a more limited fashion, therefore made more visible/experientially knowable to us. But not in this fuller sense (and I imagine there's much more room to move in this area as well, especially as my experience has kind of deadened again, but will inevitably rise up again in the future). In this sense, I saw the Father Himself, again through my internal eyes.

On the Son - well, He was the One I'd come to know first. The experiences are far too many and varied for me to indulge them here, but these experiences were much more distinct, especially earlier on before they led to intimate experiences with the Spirit (of course, any experience of the Son is also just as much an experience with the Spirit as with the Father, but the emphasis can be different). Sometimes I'd have visions or I'd feel a presence, sometimes I'd see Him through other people in their faces, expression and inflection of tone, and through their actions, sometimes I'd sense Him in worship, and many times it was just clearly hearing His voice through reading the gospels. But it grew from an original, historical and scriptural understanding into a more poetic and then finally a more mystical experience. In fact, the mystical aspect was there all along, from when I was a child, it just seemed somewhat separate and then finally merged when I entered my late teens/early twenties.

Lastly, my experience of the Holy Spirit began in that transition period from the emphasis on the Son into that final breathtaking experience of the Father. This mystical presence I was feeling (sometimes when I was merely reading the bible, which bugged me at first, ironically) became so well-rounded that I began to feel her as a different person altogether. I say her because she felt like a feminine presence almost (which I later found is what Christian mystics have often declared). Like the woman of sorts I'd never fully recognized, though I felt her essence in many of my dreams from a child until then. The deepest compassion and love, the most intimate reveries and ecstasy that I'd ever known came to a full head. It was romantic in a sense. I hadn't ever known before that I could have a distinct relationship with the Spirit on its own almost. I'd always thought that the Spirit was merely around us or inside of us and that's that. Perhaps that's when the Spirit began to more fully live inside of me. I don't know.

 

As you can see, though, my experience of each is vastly unique and they have contributed different facets to my relationship to God. I can't look at them as the same, or that in any sense I'm 'sharing' love between them, as if they were on the exact same plane to choose between. It seems that if I love one, I love them all, and any violation of love toward any of them hurts them all, as they share the same core. But it's as if looking at any one of them causes me to focus in on that person alone... I don't know, I've never had to really describe this before, so maybe I'd have to get back to you on it. It's as if they're completely individual while sharing the same exact essence of love and holiness.

Anyway, even though I've had these more distinct experiences, the actual dynamics of how it works in everyday life is much more synchronized. The Father is my ultimate destination (and all of ours if we were completely honest with our motivations and deepest desires). I just want to make Him happy, as any son would want to do in a healthy relationship with his father (though here on earth those relationships are often so flawed). The Son is the one beside me, leading me further and further, helping me when I'm in trouble and strengthening my weak points. The Spirit is within me, giving me the internal sense and mystical experience of God, the presence of God, and strengthening me from within and transforming me day by day. Giving me the thoughts I need to have, and burning up the thoughts I don't in purer ones. Fulfilling my deepest longings and giving rest to my heart.

 

No, my experience of the trinity is highly synchronized and thoroughly romantic. And of one overall essence.

jcgadfly wrote:
2. How can two things be equal in every way yet not identical (Jesus is equal in every way to God but he is not God)? Seems like a violation of a basic principle.
 

This may be a bit of a misnomer. I wouldn't say that He's exactly "equal" to God. In fact, the scriptures say that he's equal except in regards to the throne. The reason being that they are two completely different types of beings. The Father is beyond space and time and thus cannot be dethroned, and yet can't be seen with external eyes either - only through spiritual experience. The Son can make himself be seen, though, and can know certain bits of the future even while not knowing the entirety of it. The Son is the one that the Jews interacted with in the OT, thus why it often seems as if God doesn't know everything or is reacting to things. The Son does represent the Father perfectly - that is, communicates His very essence and love through the Spirit that they share together. The Son communicates in smaller, more understandable forms what the Father is doing. I like how George MacDonald (and later Lewis, his 'student') talks about this: God the Father is always making grain grow and wine ferment, etc, but the Son demonstrated the miracle in it through the feeding of thousands and turning water into wine. The miraculousness of the natural world and the everyday is often beyond our immediate grasp, but once you get to know the Father, you'll see how miraculous the everyday is - even more breathtaking than any of Jesus' miracles! This is why I can never be swayed from my belief in God. I'm a God-of-the-non-gaps kinda guy.

But, anyway, I see the Son as sort of an artist in a way, because He's not merely imitating, He's interpreting. He looks at each situation and judges by the Spirit of His Father what His Father would do in that situation, or rather, wants Him to do. Again, I like the way that C.S. Lewis put it his space trilogy, where "Maleldil" is the supernatural being who is actually the Son, "what Maleldil read in the mind of his Father from the very beginning," or something like that. It's the eternal dance, the divine community, of which we are all invited to take part in. Even moreso than the divine sons of the holy council are allowed to, I would say..


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:stellar

mellestad wrote:

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

 

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

 

Actually, that's the way it came about. The Jews were very empirical. They tended to need to see things in order to believe them, and they recorded things very accurately. Through their encounters with the Word of God (and later the Memra of God, in Arabic), who was a living, breathing being that appeared to many of them, they came to know that there was the visible and invisible YHWH. In fact, monotheism isn't a clear enough term to describe their beliefs. Neither is monolatry or henotheism and definitely not polytheism, according to Michael Heiser, PhD, although YHWH had many sons who together with Him constituted the divine council that we see in Job and elsewhere. But the Word of God was a special son of a different essence who perfectly represented the invisible YHWH, the very essence of existence.

You may say - but of course! Even if they did see the visible YHWH, the Word of God, they didn't see the invisible YHWH, later called the Father. But if an all-powerful supernatural being appeared to you and said that his very essence was dependent upon a greater being whom by the very definition of his being could not be seen, would you not tend to believe him?

And as for the Spirit - that was the presence of God that was experientially known among the peoples of God and especially the early Christians through not only signs and wonders but in the unity and love that bonded them together and the direction given to them throughout their lives. This part of God too is invisible, but you have to remember that energy is usually invisible to us.

I suppose I can see that.  Granted, every one of the assumptions that led to that is something I would consider invalid, but if you assume those things as facts, then it makes more sense to come up with the trinity idea to explain the inconsistencies.

Just not as much sense as not making the assumptions in the first place Laughing out loud

Very well. A Christian's reason for believing often encompasses much more than just the empirical, thus why we often seem to need less to go on than you guys would. Of course, I wouldn't want a faith that just rests upon empiricism alone anyway. It would be too dead and uncreative. I need something that drives me to go deeper inside of myself and bring up the treasures I find there. Laughing out loud

Thanks for your respectful response, dude. I appreciate it. Smiling


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
stellar renegade

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:

The thing that bugs me about the trinity is first you have to presume the trinity exists, *then* pontificate endlessly about how that might make sense.

 

Evidence should lead to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion leading to evidence.

 

Actually, that's the way it came about. The Jews were very empirical. They tended to need to see things in order to believe them, and they recorded things very accurately. Through their encounters with the Word of God (and later the Memra of God, in Arabic), who was a living, breathing being that appeared to many of them, they came to know that there was the visible and invisible YHWH. In fact, monotheism isn't a clear enough term to describe their beliefs. Neither is monolatry or henotheism and definitely not polytheism, according to Michael Heiser, PhD, although YHWH had many sons who together with Him constituted the divine council that we see in Job and elsewhere. But the Word of God was a special son of a different essence who perfectly represented the invisible YHWH, the very essence of existence.

You may say - but of course! Even if they did see the visible YHWH, the Word of God, they didn't see the invisible YHWH, later called the Father. But if an all-powerful supernatural being appeared to you and said that his very essence was dependent upon a greater being whom by the very definition of his being could not be seen, would you not tend to believe him?

And as for the Spirit - that was the presence of God that was experientially known among the peoples of God and especially the early Christians through not only signs and wonders but in the unity and love that bonded them together and the direction given to them throughout their lives. This part of God too is invisible, but you have to remember that energy is usually invisible to us.

I suppose I can see that.  Granted, every one of the assumptions that led to that is something I would consider invalid, but if you assume those things as facts, then it makes more sense to come up with the trinity idea to explain the inconsistencies.

Just not as much sense as not making the assumptions in the first place Laughing out loud

Very well. A Christian's reason for believing often encompasses much more than just the empirical, thus why we often seem to need less to go on than you guys would. Of course, I wouldn't want a faith that just rests upon empiricism alone anyway. It would be too dead and uncreative. I need something that drives me to go deeper inside of myself and bring up the treasures I find there. Laughing out loud

Thanks for your respectful response, dude. I appreciate it. Smiling

 

Well, I try to be respectful until someone deserves otherwise, heh.

 

Out of curiosity, why would empiricism lead to being dead and uncreative?  I think the most amazing things I've ever known are all empirical and intuition (or creativity) still has an important place, you just acknowledge that it doesn't result in truth unless it can be verified.

Maybe it is our categorization of empirical?  To me, love, art, music, story-telling, awe...all of those things have a perfectly valid place in an empirically based (or physicalist, or rationalist) world-view.  I (think) feel just as much passion as anyone.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
stellar renegade

stellar renegade wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence of the nature of the Universe, the flaws in our 'design', and the history of the World, is that if there is a God, He is evil.

I disagree. The law of entropy is in effect because of the incompleteness of our original creation, awaiting the new, full and complete creation, according to Christian scripture ( Romans 8 ), and possibly even because of the fall of the twisted trans-dimensional being often called Lucifer (or light-bearer).

The 'law of entropy' is irrelevant to my comment. It is logically inevitable anyway once you have a universe composed of multiple fundamental and identical particles, as revealed by physics.

I was referring to the lack of good design, features that would not exist if the aim was effectiveness and minimizing harm and distress to any conscious entities within the Universe.

The existence of any of those beings is purely conjectural, and the evidence is that the nature of the Universe is far more economically explained without the assumption of those entities. Those stories are an unimpressive attempt to reconcile those difficulties I pointed to, and simply demonstrate that he assumption of a 'Good' god really doesn't work well.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is in many cases the Christian and/or the Bible which calls Evil Good and vice versa.

You mean if you take passages out of context?

No, if you read in the wider context, and without unjustified presuppositions that the message is from a 'good' God.

In any case, any text that is so ambiguous is not what what one should see if it was ultimately sourced from a being who was good and wanted us to know the Truth - although it is entirely what one would expect as the writings of people trying to record and justify their superstitions and cultural practices and taboos.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
We may not be able to absolutely prove there is no God being of some form, but it requires wilful blindness to claim such a being is 'Good'.

Actually it would be illogical to claim that the most transcendent being of all would not be good - after all, everything good came from him.

There is no logic there - what you are saying is that 'might makes right'.

If He exists, then not only did "everything good" come from him, but so did everything bad, so that point is a total fail.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
And your justification for why God is called a 'Father' is a complete non sequitur. Those qualities are learned from either or both parents, or friends, IOW from anyone we socialize a lot with - they are not logically or necessarily associated with fathers.

I was talking about the capacity for such things. Even a feral child has the 'capacity' for them.

Does not address the issue at all, I would not deny that. Just that there is nothing to say that they can only get them from their biological fathers.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
If you had said because he was the creator of the Universe, that would have made some sense, but as a response to a very good point, it fails.

I did mean that. Acknowledging God as Father (which he already is for everyone) comes through acknowledging Him as Creator. The two ideas are linked, but one is a bit more impersonal on its own (creator). Yet it is not on its own and anyone acknowledging God as Creator will come to know him as Father, too. I mean the analogy does work - after all, earthly fathers are also creators, and our God takes care of us, whether we acknowledge him or not.

In our personal origin, we owe more to our mothers than our fathers. Apart from the womb we require to develop in, we get more DNA (mitochondrial DNA), and the whole cellular machinery comes purely from the female. All we get from the father is some alternative DNA, which helps make evolution work more efficiently, and keeps a group generally consistent in their biological character. So a Mother as Creator would be a far better analogy, but this religion derived from a strongly patriarchal culture, so that is why it is couched this way.

You obviously referring to the traditional 'father figure', which not all cultures and religions share. There are those who indeed worship mother figures.

God is an illogical, inconsistent, unjustified assumptiom., a Good God even more so.

Your worldview is utterly without merit, except as coping mechanism for the ignorant and uneducated.

EDIT:
As to some other comments, teh progress of Science and our deep and amazing insights into the true vastness of the Universe that the authors of the Bible had not the slightest grasp of, shows how human reason applied to empirical evidence and applying empirical testing is the only way to transcend the finite limits of human imagination and intuition.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:Well, I try

mellestad wrote:
Well, I try to be respectful until someone deserves otherwise, heh.

What do you mean?

mellestad wrote:
Out of curiosity, why would empiricism lead to being dead and uncreative?  I think the most amazing things I've ever known are all empirical and intuition (or creativity) still has an important place, you just acknowledge that it doesn't result in truth unless it can be verified.

Well, yeah. Intuition necessarily always plays a role (for instance, inferring whether or not anything we experience is real in the first place), but I'm saying that our threshold of proof is generally a bit lower than others, although I know that there are claims that there's more room to believe in Jesus and what he said on a historical basis than there is to doubt him. Regardless, I don't know all of the ins and outs of that, even though I've learned alot especially recently, to say that my threshold is exactly the same as a militant atheist's. However, there are many, many other aspects to my faith that buffer that and make it very difficult to disbelieve.

mellestad wrote:
Maybe it is our categorization of empirical?  To me, love, art, music, story-telling, awe...all of those things have a perfectly valid place in an empirically based (or physicalist, or rationalist) world-view.  I (think) feel just as much passion as anyone.

Yeah, totally. But love necessarily has more intuition involved in it than empiricism, and art more often than not has implied meaning (even if subconscious to the artist), as well as music and story-telling, etc, etc. I am just like you in this regard, but we had a different definition. I was talking about the strictest forms of empiricism that science often employs.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I think it is the

I think it is the interaction of our intuitions and emotional reactions with empirical reality that maximize the creative potential, by allowing us to come across ideas and images that are way beyond our finite imaginations. Especially now that empirically based research has revealed a far more vast and mysterious reality than our ancestors conceived.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
Before I start, I'd like to

Before I start, I'd like to say that I've been watching your posts for awhile now (I've lurked the forums a few times besides the times I've actually posted) and you tend to make entirely unfair generalizations which puts Christianity/theism in general on a lower footing from the get-go, without actually supplying justification for it. It seems rather low to me. I've discussed with atheists who are much more respectful and end up getting a great deal of respect from them as well, not just for my attitude but my intelligence. I'll admit I'm no scientist although I have interests in a few fields, but there are other realms of knowledge even apart from that.

Anyway, I figured the purpose of this particular forum was to be respectful and keep the debate on a more or less equal footing without resorting to generalizations, especially before you even hear the other person out.

BobSpence1 wrote:

stellar renegade wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The evidence of the nature of the Universe, the flaws in our 'design', and the history of the World, is that if there is a God, He is evil.

I disagree. The law of entropy is in effect because of the incompleteness of our original creation, awaiting the new, full and complete creation, according to Christian scripture ( Romans 8 ), and possibly even because of the fall of the twisted trans-dimensional being often called Lucifer (or light-bearer).

The 'law of entropy' is irrelevant to my comment. It is logically inevitable anyway once you have a universe composed of multiple fundamental and identical particles, as revealed by physics.

However, Revelation 21 describes the commencement of another order of things to be executed, an existence and universe of a different nature. The truth is that we know very little of our universe, 4% if that, and now we're discovering so much more - multiple dimensions, and a vastness beyond our comprehension - I think that believing that it could absolutely not be any other way would be dishonest.

BobSpence1 wrote:
I was referring to the lack of good design, features that would not exist if the aim was effectiveness and minimizing harm and distress to any conscious entities within the Universe.

And like I was saying, our universe is necessarily imperfect, in preparation for a new creation. In Christian theology the reasoning is that there must be an old (decaying) creation first so as to allow for the individual development of beings separate from God in the first place. As you pointed out, a flawed universe allows for our existence. In order to create an individual other than himself, God would have to separate beings from himself in the first place - and if God's the definition of perfection, then these beings would necessarily be separated from perfection. Although, not completely. Even the features of decay in this universe allows for new life (a theme which recurs in Christ's death and resurrection), such as stars dying to give us life.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The existence of any of those beings is purely conjectural, and the evidence is that the nature of the Universe is far more economically explained without the assumption of those entities. Those stories are an unimpressive attempt to reconcile those difficulties I pointed to, and simply demonstrate that he assumption of a 'Good' god really doesn't work well.

It's conjecture on your part to imply that this was my intention or the intention of anyone else who has described such beings. Simply because you find things easier to explain within your worldview does not mean that others do not have good reason to beleive otherwise.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
It is in many cases the Christian and/or the Bible which calls Evil Good and vice versa.

You mean if you take passages out of context?

No, if you read in the wider context, and without unjustified presuppositions that the message is from a 'good' God.

Very often that simply means 'using immediate biblical context while ignoring the implications of the story in the first place or other bits of context in order to conclude that God appears just as cruel as he seems to upon first glance.' It would be more helpful if we went into specifics, perhaps in other threads. One solid point I can make here is that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Did you realize that the story has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality and that even the Canaanites and surrounding people were crying out to God for their destruction? That's only a hint at the wider story, though.

BobSpence1 wrote:
In any case, any text that is so ambiguous is not what what one should see if it was ultimately sourced from a being who was good and wanted us to know the Truth - although it is entirely what one would expect as the writings of people trying to record and justify their superstitions and cultural practices and taboos.

Working from a presupposition that the bible is the sole attempt made by God to reveal his nature to humanity, then it would definitely be easy to feel as if it is far too inadequate. The contexts that we often have to work from are indeed often so troublesome that it requires further analysis beyond just the textual variety and sometimes is not even fully understood until further archaeological discoveries are made.

However, that is not necessarily all of Christendom's presupposition. For one, it is only the Protestants who claimed sola scriptura - and no, I'm not Protestant or Catholic, or Orthodox for that matter either. It doesn't even seem to be necessarily to believe in sola scriptura to be a Protestant, although it goes well with the spirit of their movement, and why? Because they used that claim to obtain their freedom, although it is used for the converse purpose these days, it seems.

Yes, sometimes scripture is hard to understand and very easy to twist, just as Peter says in 2 Peter 3:16. But not everyone feels as if that is God's sole revelation to us. Very many, even of those who claim that, act as if God inspires many people outside of the Bible as well. In fact, Christianity has typically held that nature is God's supplemental revelation to us as well as scripture. And then there are the mystics with their experiences, etc. Coupled with the fact that the early Christians were mostly illiterate and there were few if any actual scriptures among them. In the new testament we have records that they were coming to understand God through mutual discovery as a group, through communal revelation.

Is the Bible God's 'clear' message to us? Is it Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? I think that concept is ridiculous. While I do think that God on some level has established what we know of as scripture (through the consensus of the early Christians), to say that God intended us for to find revelation in scriptures alone, is a concept that Christendom should have shedded centuries ago. This essay makes great points in that vein.

I do believe that very much of scripture can be cleared up through very careful analysis, but there are always a few of those nagging questions left behind (although there are so few now that I can barely count them on my hand from memory), yet I've been surprised at so many of the discoveries coming from every direction at better explanations at what these ancient texts mean.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
We may not be able to absolutely prove there is no God being of some form, but it requires wilful blindness to claim such a being is 'Good'.

Actually it would be illogical to claim that the most transcendent being of all would not be good - after all, everything good came from him.

There is no logic there - what you are saying is that 'might makes right'.

If He exists, then not only did "everything good" come from him, but so did everything bad, so that point is a total fail.

Actually, how can it be said that there is such a 'thing' as badness? For one thing, that's a value that we project on our world. It's necessarily a metaphysical concept. Regardless, it can be said that everything 'bad' results as a lack of something good that could've prevented it. Or in other words, that 'badness' is a lack of goodness. I made this point with a Satanist admin on the Does A God Exist Facebook page (where I'm also admin), when he posted the verse Isaiah 45:7:

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

'Darkness' can't be created because it's merely the absence of light. It can be created, in a shadow for instance. The shadow is created by an object in the light's path. The light hits the ground around the shadow, thus 'creating' darkness there. In the same sense it could be said that the darkness is attributed to God, but only indirectly.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
And your justification for why God is called a 'Father' is a complete non sequitur. Those qualities are learned from either or both parents, or friends, IOW from anyone we socialize a lot with - they are not logically or necessarily associated with fathers.

I was talking about the capacity for such things. Even a feral child has the 'capacity' for them.

Does not address the issue at all, I would not deny that. Just that there is nothing to say that they can only get them from their biological fathers.

I defined the issue in the first place when I described how God is our Father, and that is precisely what I meant - that He is our Father in the sense that He created in us the capacity to have those things.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
If you had said because he was the creator of the Universe, that would have made some sense, but as a response to a very good point, it fails.

I did mean that. Acknowledging God as Father (which he already is for everyone) comes through acknowledging Him as Creator. The two ideas are linked, but one is a bit more impersonal on its own (creator). Yet it is not on its own and anyone acknowledging God as Creator will come to know him as Father, too. I mean the analogy does work - after all, earthly fathers are also creators, and our God takes care of us, whether we acknowledge him or not.

In our personal origin, we owe more to our mothers than our fathers. Apart from the womb we require to develop in, we get more DNA (mitochondrial DNA), and the whole cellular machinery comes purely from the female. All we get from the father is some alternative DNA, which helps make evolution work more efficiently, and keeps a group generally consistent in their biological character. So a Mother as Creator would be a far better analogy, but this religion derived from a strongly patriarchal culture, so that is why it is couched this way.

You obviously referring to the traditional 'father figure', which not all cultures and religions share. There are those who indeed worship mother figures.

Very interesting! So the virgin birth makes just a bit more sense than I had previously thought.

Did you realize that there is some room to believe that God was called by a feminine name as well? El Shaddai. I don't have the link handy right at the moment and I'm about to walk out the door, but in one context it seems that it meant "big breasted one" since "shad" is Hebrew for "breast."

BobSpence1 wrote:
God is an illogical, inconsistent, unjustified assumptiom., a Good God even more so.

Your worldview is utterly without merit, except as coping mechanism for the ignorant and uneducated.

You say this in such a way that the only response I could come back with (without a lengthy diatribe, perhaps a thesis even) is a simple denial, which you could then say shows that I doth protest too much. That's why these generalizations are unhelpful. You know little about what I believe until you dialogue with me, and peoples' beliefs are generally different from each other, minus the meaningless parroting and rhetoric that some engage in out of ritual.

BobSpence1 wrote:
EDIT:
As to some other comments, teh progress of Science and our deep and amazing insights into the true vastness of the Universe that the authors of the Bible had not the slightest grasp of, shows how human reason applied to empirical evidence and applying empirical testing is the only way to transcend the finite limits of human imagination and intuition.

Actually, there's an extraordinary amount of references to things we did not know until modern times, such as the expansion of the universe. In 11 different places scripture states that God stretches out 'the heavens' like someone would a tent. Again, I'm running out the door, so I can give references later.

Thanks for being willing to dialogue with me. Smiling

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
A few points in respones, I

A few points in respones, I may reply more fully later.

I am still not sure how you view the "Law of Entropy". You don't seem to have addressed my comments about it directly. It is very fundamental, and among the things it points to is a definition of the "arrow of time".

Quote:

The law of entropy is in effect because of the incompleteness of our original creation,

betrays a gross lack of understanding of the significance and meaning of entropy.

When I referred to poor design, I was not assuming it should be 'perfect', that is a naive and simplistic concept in this context.

There are many clear examples of 'poor design' in living creatures, that would be puzzling oversights if a competent (let alone perfect) designer were involved, but entirely understandable as the results of the limitations and lack of 'foresight' or 'purpose' in the undirected process of evolution.

As to the rest of the Universe, it is what it is, understandable in the broadest sense as the result of purposeless physical processes, mostly hostile to life.

'Badness' can be identified as anything that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, and distress. Pain is not the absence of pleasure, or 'non-pain'. We do not need to have experienced pleasure to identify pain.

"Stretching out a tent' to cover us is not a good analogy to the expanding universe. We would never see the visible stars moving apart from each other, it does not apply at that scale. It only works at the scale of clusters of galaxies, two orders of reality beyond the visible stars which are referred to as 'lights in the vault of the sky'.

Genesis is so grossly at odds with our current knowledge of the Universe that it is foolish to even attempt to re-interpret it. Just be honest and admit it is a re-working of several earlier creation myths.

I am sorry to say that I find your responses seriously inadequate, often appearing to completely miss or misunderstand my point. That may be partly due to my not expressing my ideas clearly enough, of course, but seems more to be due to our coming at these things from such different angles, experience, and assumptions, that we talk past each other.

You do appear to be intelligent, but your intelligence seems to have been devoted to finding ways to interpret things in such a way as to shore up your basic presuppositions or world-view.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
stellar renegade

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Well, I try to be respectful until someone deserves otherwise, heh.

What do you mean?

Just what I said.  I *attempt* to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this forum doesn't bring out the best in people.  I'm not usually interested in being nice to people unless the effort is mutual.

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Out of curiosity, why would empiricism lead to being dead and uncreative?  I think the most amazing things I've ever known are all empirical and intuition (or creativity) still has an important place, you just acknowledge that it doesn't result in truth unless it can be verified.

Well, yeah. Intuition necessarily always plays a role (for instance, inferring whether or not anything we experience is real in the first place), but I'm saying that our threshold of proof is generally a bit lower than others, although I know that there are claims that there's more room to believe in Jesus and what he said on a historical basis than there is to doubt him. Regardless, I don't know all of the ins and outs of that, even though I've learned alot especially recently, to say that my threshold is exactly the same as a militant atheist's. However, there are many, many other aspects to my faith that buffer that and make it very difficult to disbelieve.

mellestad wrote:
Maybe it is our categorization of empirical?  To me, love, art, music, story-telling, awe...all of those things have a perfectly valid place in an empirically based (or physicalist, or rationalist) world-view.  I (think) feel just as much passion as anyone.

Yeah, totally. But love necessarily has more intuition involved in it than empiricism, and art more often than not has implied meaning (even if subconscious to the artist), as well as music and story-telling, etc, etc. I am just like you in this regard, but we had a different definition. I was talking about the strictest forms of empiricism that science often employs.

I'm not sure I understand.  I'm not aware of anyone advocating becoming a Vulcan.  Love *is* a physical process though, and there isn't any reason why we shouldn't try to understand that as well.  Knowing the cause of something doesn't make it less interesting...honestly, understanding even a little bit about what our brain is really doing when we feel even the most trivial thing is awesome to me, and love is not a trivial thing.

I'm a fire-bug, I love fire.  I remember the feeling I got when I learned a bit about the actual process that is taking place just to get heat and flame...amazing.  Now I can look at a fire and get the usual burst of happy chemicals in my brain, or I can switch gears and get an even greater feeling my really thinking about the process.

 

I'm still not sure why you would think you have more capacity for passion than someone without belief in religion, as you seem to be saying.  Maybe I'm mistaken about what you are trying to say, but "dead and uncreative" is hard for me to integrate into the joy and creativity I feel when looking at the world through a irreligious lens.

Calling empiricism a faith system is also a bit touchy, unless you define "faith" as simply, "philosophy" or something equally vague.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
Hey Stellar, is this thread

Hey Stellar, is this thread still an accurate summation of your belief?

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16567

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:A few

BobSpence1 wrote:

A few points in respones, I may reply more fully later.

I am still not sure how you view the "Law of Entropy". You don't seem to have addressed my comments about it directly. It is very fundamental, and among the things it points to is a definition of the "arrow of time".

Yeah, I understand that. The reason I didn't fully address it is because I was talking in general about the imperfection in the natural world. I see now that the distinctions are more significant for your point.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:

The law of entropy is in effect because of the incompleteness of our original creation,

betrays a gross lack of understanding of the significance and meaning of entropy.

Well, I understand that the law of entropy is the reason why our universe even exists in such a state where life can develop, which was part of my point. I know that my belief in a new order of creation is merely in the realm of the hypothetical as I'm not sure how an omnipotent creator would structure things in such a different way that they would not tend toward chaos. Regardless, I also realize that my knowledge in comparison with infinite understanding is extremely limited.

If that's still not your point, then perhaps you could clarify even further.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
When I referred to poor design, I was not assuming it should be 'perfect', that is a naive and simplistic concept in this context.

There are many clear examples of 'poor design' in living creatures, that would be puzzling oversights if a competent (let alone perfect) designer were involved, but entirely understandable as the results of the limitations and lack of 'foresight' or 'purpose' in the undirected process of evolution.

As to the rest of the Universe, it is what it is, understandable in the broadest sense as the result of purposeless physical processes, mostly hostile to life.

True, there are quite a bit of interesting points to be made in that area that I haven't quite grappled with yet. I have a pretty good amount of confidence that my faith would see itself through to the other side of that as it has with much more difficult and challenging aspects, but I'd still like to learn more about these things.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
'Badness' can be identified as anything that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, and distress. Pain is not the absence of pleasure, or 'non-pain'. We do not need to have experienced pleasure to identify pain.

True, but that wasn't exactly my point. I was asserting a general principle (which perhaps might be too general to apply to every instance) that usually unnecessarily negative qualities are the result of an incompletion in the natural order - possibly in some cases that we're unaware of since the complete picture would be foreign to us at this point. Like I said, I'm no science buff and am more of a philosopher, so there's a good chance I sound like an idiot right now.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
"Stretching out a tent' to cover us is not a good analogy to the expanding universe. We would never see the visible stars moving apart from each other, it does not apply at that scale. It only works at the scale of clusters of galaxies, two orders of reality beyond the visible stars which are referred to as 'lights in the vault of the sky'.

I'm not asserting that the ancients were 'observing' the universe expanding. That would be nothing short of ridiculous. I'm asserting that it's possible that God actually inspired them to understand that fact.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
Genesis is so grossly at odds with our current knowledge of the Universe that it is foolish to even attempt to re-interpret it. Just be honest and admit it is a re-working of several earlier creation myths.

I know of the similarities in creation myths, but Genesis tends to be the most plausible one. Have you ever heard Hugh Ross' interpretations? They're actually really good. The Hebrew scriptures apparently make more sense using the days of creation as metaphors for epochs. I actually have a link to the appropriate article still up in my browser too.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
I am sorry to say that I find your responses seriously inadequate, often appearing to completely miss or misunderstand my point. That may be partly due to my not expressing my ideas clearly enough, of course, but seems more to be due to our coming at these things from such different angles, experience, and assumptions, that we talk past each other.

I definitely think that's the case. I find your challenges pretty moderate compared to what I've encountered before (at least insofar as I can assess), but I'm sure you have much more than just this to say.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
You do appear to be intelligent, but your intelligence seems to have been devoted to finding ways to interpret things in such a way as to shore up your basic presuppositions or world-view.
 

Well, I appreciate the sort-of compliment, haha. Seems like you're fairly intelligent as well, and I see that you can be pretty agreeable.  I'd like to add that while I agree that there are difficulties in defending the faith, I am not dishonest in this endeavor. I went through a crisis in faith years back (especially after encountering ChristianBurner.com and having some difficult exchanges with people there and elsewhere) after which I became only interested in finding the truth. However, I found that I couldn't escape the implications of Christianity or run from the experiences that kept staring me point-blank in the face and making it extremely difficult to believe otherwise. The more I search and the more I find things that seem like they will totally dismantle my faith, the more it's refined and seems to come out even cleaner and more convincing than before. Not through my own efforts to shore it up as I've ceased the tiresome task of attempting to make things fit together, but it tends to come together on its own.

Just recently I had a rather bad encounter with a rather laughable theory of the origins of mankind and religion in general which shook my faith to the core. It seems ludicrous now, but I couldn't seem to escape the implications. However, doing some honest research I found that it was all debunked by a serious scholar and that this silly theory had been hung on one supposed expert's interpretations of ancient languages.

And though it makes me feel stupid to think of it now, it at least illustrates that I'm not attempting to dig my head in the sand and escape all the implications that seem to plague my faith. I know them very well and will patiently explore them as time allows me to, yet the core center of my faith is well-established from so many directions and in so many dimensions that it would take something rather big to annihilate it. Heck, I'll believe evolution if the evidence is absolutely inescapable, but from what I've learned so far it's wanting as far as I'm concerned. But that's for another thread. I'd still believe in God, though - a universe that is that finely tuned to produce life as a natural chain reaction would make the implication of an intelligent designer even more inescapable to me.


stellar renegade
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:stellar

mellestad wrote:

stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Well, I try to be respectful until someone deserves otherwise, heh.

What do you mean?

Just what I said.  I *attempt* to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this forum doesn't bring out the best in people.  I'm not usually interested in being nice to people unless the effort is mutual.

Yeah, I've noticed that about this forum. Makes sense.

 

mellestad wrote:
stellar renegade wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Out of curiosity, why would empiricism lead to being dead and uncreative?  I think the most amazing things I've ever known are all empirical and intuition (or creativity) still has an important place, you just acknowledge that it doesn't result in truth unless it can be verified.

Well, yeah. Intuition necessarily always plays a role (for instance, inferring whether or not anything we experience is real in the first place), but I'm saying that our threshold of proof is generally a bit lower than others, although I know that there are claims that there's more room to believe in Jesus and what he said on a historical basis than there is to doubt him. Regardless, I don't know all of the ins and outs of that, even though I've learned alot especially recently, to say that my threshold is exactly the same as a militant atheist's. However, there are many, many other aspects to my faith that buffer that and make it very difficult to disbelieve.

 

mellestad wrote:
Maybe it is our categorization of empirical?  To me, love, art, music, story-telling, awe...all of those things have a perfectly valid place in an empirically based (or physicalist, or rationalist) world-view.  I (think) feel just as much passion as anyone.

Yeah, totally. But love necessarily has more intuition involved in it than empiricism, and art more often than not has implied meaning (even if subconscious to the artist), as well as music and story-telling, etc, etc. I am just like you in this regard, but we had a different definition. I was talking about the strictest forms of empiricism that science often employs.

I'm not sure I understand.  I'm not aware of anyone advocating becoming a Vulcan.  Love *is* a physical process though, and there isn't any reason why we shouldn't try to understand that as well.  Knowing the cause of something doesn't make it less interesting...honestly, understanding even a little bit about what our brain is really doing when we feel even the most trivial thing is awesome to me, and love is not a trivial thing.

I'm a fire-bug, I love fire.  I remember the feeling I got when I learned a bit about the actual process that is taking place just to get heat and flame...amazing.  Now I can look at a fire and get the usual burst of happy chemicals in my brain, or I can switch gears and get an even greater feeling my really thinking about the process.

Oh, I totally agree. I think I totally misstated what I was saying in the first place, so I say just forget it. I guess what I meant is that I wouldn't want a faith where I just assent to certain facts and leave it at that. That's not what faith is about to me - it's about involvement. And the way I've experienced it - having to struggle to dig up more and more understanding in the face of so many obstacles and doubt - has been extremely rewarding and if it had all been so easy to understand, believe and move on right from the get-go, I wouldn't have grown in the process. Of course, I don't know what it would've been like otherwise! So maybe my point is moot. But I'm definitely not saying that I don't want to know the inner workings of what's behind my faith - quite the opposite. I'm pretty much straining at the bit trying to figure out how this miraculous, supernatural universe of ours works. The very idea of multiple universes and dimensions, of the implications of quantum mechanics and even just the awe at this massive, beautiful universe of ours leaves me breathless. I don't know everything yet, but that's part of what makes it all so amazing. I guess what I really meant by 'purely empirical' was more like, 'totally figured out' or 'not believing anything could be true aside from the little bit that I've directly observed'. That would be a poverty of belief in my opinion. Our understanding of existence is an experiment in progress, wouldn't you agree?

 

mellestad wrote:
I'm still not sure why you would think you have more capacity for passion than someone without belief in religion, as you seem to be saying.  Maybe I'm mistaken about what you are trying to say, but "dead and uncreative" is hard for me to integrate into the joy and creativity I feel when looking at the world through a irreligious lens.

Interesting that we get the same exact effect by looking at the world through opposite lenses, eh? Or maybe they're not so far apart after all. I strike a chord with some of the atheists I've been talking to lately, to the point where I almost feel as if we have the same beliefs minus a few or so and for sure have the same attitude toward existence. It's refreshing talking to them. I think the difference may actually lie in the institutionality of faith - that damned parasite on faith that only does it harm and gives it a bad name.

 

mellestad wrote:
Calling empiricism a faith system is also a bit touchy, unless you define "faith" as simply, "philosophy" or something equally vague.

No, I don't think I said that, to memory. Hopefully you get what I'm saying a bit better now. Laughing out loud

 

As for the thread I made ages ago - looking over the section titles, yes I do still agree with all of that. I don't entirely remember all I said nor am I gonna read it this late, but I did wanna say that I didn't abandon that intentionally. I didn't expect anyone to ask for references to back up the authenticity of those beliefs within Christianity, although it made sense. However it seemed like too momentous of a task at that time so I just kept putting it off until finally I just gave up on coming back for the time being. If I do find enough time I may come back and give references.


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
I'll just go in order, I

I'll just go in order, I dislike giant quote walls with more than two responses.

 

I think the difference is, you make the assumption that the universe is, 'miraculous' and 'supernatural' and I do not.  What, exactly, do those even mean?  One thing I run into is those concepts aren't usually coherent, like how something can even exist 'outside' our universe but still interact with it.  Once you know how something works, why would it still be miraculous and supernatural?

So overall, what is your justification?  I can honestly see an argument for some "force" or something that instigated the Big Bang.  I think it adds unneeded complexity and there is no reason to anthropomorphize whatever that force may be other than superstition, but speculation on that force is difficult because of our point of reference, so whatever...it doesn't really matter to me if someone is a deist.

Where I break down with most theists is when they start claiming there is a personal deity that has powers of intercession, or gives moral commands, stuff like that.  Everything I know about the universe, physics, and reality in general, points to the fact that everything is just atoms bouncing around, from stars, to our brains.  I don't see any room in that system or theism, and when people make concrete claims they always (so far) turn out to be incorrect....the realm of the theist is constantly pushed back by our knowledge of how the world really works.  I'm not sure how people justify continued belief when the responsibilities of their deity shrink drastically every generation...it is like throwing good money after bad, if that makes any sense.

So with that in mind, and with your stated desire of knowing more about the universe and yourself, I'm not sure what there is that is not more adequately explained by psychology, neuroscience, physics and chemistry.  Do you have any particular places that you feel God is the only solution for?

 

I would agree that our observations of reality are an experiment in process.  That is a nice way to put it.

 

Well...see, I'm not the most hostile atheist here.  To me, once a person reaches the point where their morality is defined by secular processes, my urgency in debunking a specific theism lowers drastically.  As above, where I will break down is where you consider your deity concept to fit into this whole picture.  If it is comfortably cerebral and you don't think that concept is a personal thing that actively influences your decisions, my interest is purely academic.  If you think your deity concept is actively interceding in your thoughts and actions to change your behavior, then I've got a serious problem, because there is no root rationality behind that influence.  If you get a particular idea in your head that you think comes from your theism, no-one can do anything to talk you out of it because of faith.  When you have groups of disparate beliefs all following the same principle it is a certain recipe for conflict since nothing can be resolved objectively between competing ideas and coercion is the only possible result.

 

 

If you revisit your old thread, at least you don't have to worry about Hamby or Deluded God, lol.

Sorry for the wall-o-text.

 

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1707
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
God <-->> Humans OR God <<-->> Humans

I would like to take up the 2008 trinity thread.

The Jews distinguished  themselves as a religion with only one god with an odd nod to pluralism (Let us make man). I don't believe this was with Jesus in mind or a blood sacrifice would need to be God Himself, in the vein of if you want something done right do it yourself.  The Jews were mostly content as even today to keep to themselves. They don't need to evangelize. You are born a Jew. Not that they would reject a willing participant but even in their scripture, your genealogy papers must be in order. When they came back from the diaspora after the Babylonian captivity you especially had to prove your lineage to be a priest.

So, Christ comes along and if we only had the 3 Synoptic Gospels we would not think he was God. He was the sacrificial lamb and the story would be more consistent. The lambs (and bulls, goats, doves, etc) didn't pre-exist. He truly could feel the pain of being human because he didn't pre-exist. He truly was one of us and not divine. If he was god that would mean the sacrifice would be a bit tongue in cheek as Nigel the Bold was basically saying in 2008. If he was God he already knew what it was like to feel pain and be intimately aware of what his life would be like as man. He lived a very short human life with only full suffering occurring one weekend. He at that point would know it was trivial and nothing on the order of the Mel Gibson gross movie. He also really couldn't be tempted because the scripture says God cannot be tempted. So while my prior religion, SDA, taught me the trinity I see now it seems less logical and not consistent with all scripture. The synoptic gospels were written first to largely a Jewish audience. They were offended at believing god could be more than one. The synoptic gospels were written 15 to 25 years after Jesus' crucifiction. Then 10 years or so after that the book of John was written. Now the gospel had gone international and was not just a Jewish off shoot. The pagans were used to the idea of many gods. John is the one gospel that states this. He places Jesus at the creation of the heavens and earth.

My hypothesis is the synoptic gospels were written in a time when Christians were converting Jews and the would have not  have believed Jesus was God then. After all being Jews they too would have found that offensive. But the Gentile world was different and they would be less comfortable of there only being one God. The author of John threw them a bone while still riding the fine line of not entirely upsetting former Jews. This is having your cake and eating it too. The seeds of this continued to sprout until the Christian Church began calling dead people saints who could intercede for them, which showed in life they had supernatural powers, deity like. 

When Islam came along they went back to restore the concept of their being one God only and that Jesus was a prophet and could not be god because god cannot die. 

The Jehovah Witness followed suit as well.

I have been seeing the many books of the bible as not consistent, but theologically progressive. The each wrote in their own times what they understood God to be and expanded the view of who God was. The issue is that Fundamental Christians believe in every word as inspired and spend their time trying to logically make everything consistent, proudly saying that is so. However, if it was so consistent there would not be so many denominations nor would their be so many books, websites having to explain all the inconsistencies in the bible. They are stuck with illogical conditions like god is one and yet three. If cornered they state God is a mystery and above human understanding and logic. So, they are OK with using human reason to bring you in which indicates there is value in human reason, but as soon as they enter irrational scenarios you just have to believe. 

Trying to bridge the one god (OT, synoptic gospels) and the three gods (the book of John) is just a problem. But understanding the audience it was addressed to clears up the matter.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Who un-crashed this

Who un-crashed this party?

stellar renegade wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
2) If the holy spirit is the one who impregnated the virgin, then why is the father called “the father”?

haha, is this serious? Sorry, I wasn't sure if you were trolling with that one or not. God the Father is our father in the sense that we have spirits like him, that we can love, have compassion, intellectual intelligence, good intentions, etc.

It may amount to nothing more than a question of semantics, but no, I'm not trolling.  If it appears as trolling, that perhaps has more to do with the inherent nonsensicality of the doctrine itsef.

From the Nicene creed:  "...We believe in one lord, jesus christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father...by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man..."  So in the very same creed, we apparently have an profession of a Father "begetting" the Son, yet that the holy spirit did the actual fathering.


stellar renegade wrote:
zarathustra wrote:
3) I’m assuming that the son and the holy spirit always existed, alongside the father. Had man not sinned, would there be any need for them? Did they serve any function prior to the creation (and fall) of man?

It's not so much about need as it is about love. If there were only one person of God from the beginning, and it was only God alone for awhile, then the strength of the argument that God is love would be much, much weaker (I'd say it couldn't be made). God is love because God is a community, of loving persons who treat each other equally. Yes, the Son does defer to the Father, but because He is inherently greater than him. But as I've said before, the trinity is interdependent. Sure, the Son wouldn't exist without the Father, but the Father wouldn't even exist without the Son, because then He wouldn't be a father at all... the entire nature of His being would be non-existent. Without someone to love, He could not in fact be a lover. And the exchange of their love wouldn't be possible without the Spirit.

This is certainly curious.  By your response, it would appear god is constrained by rules beyond his/their control; as if all-powerful god cannot but exist in 3 interdependent parts.  Almost as if -- dare I say -- the christian god was designed. 

It's also curious that you previously defined the Son and Spirit in terms of space/time and the world - but now are outlining their roles presumably prior to the creation of the world.

Your final sentence almost sounds like a scientific claim:  Father and Son have to exchange love to exist, and the holy spirit is the transport molecule, without which the process could not occur.

 

 

 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
The idea of trinity was not

The idea of trinity was not found in the original manuscripts of the New Testament.  The pronouns that refer to the holy spirit were neuter meaning it not HE. By the fourth century copies of the Greek started showing some of the pronouns changes to the masculine, He.  Even in the gospel of John the Paraclete (Advocate) is referred to by neuter pronouns and is itself a neuter noun . Jesus in early Christology was presented as adopted like the earliest gospel of mark.  He is baptised by John the Baptist for the remission of sin and the holy spirit comes down into (Greek pronoun eis) him.  Even Paul reflects in places an adoptionistic concept as when he says jesus was appointed as Christ by the resurrection. The gospel of John uses typical Logos philosophy (Stoic or Helenistic Jewish ) to have the Christ as the first born of creation the tool or agency through which god creates (i.e word, reason)  It is the gospel of John's language that starts the idea that jesus was a god or God.  It took until the 4th century to iron all of the various conflicting theology and christology out at the Council of Nicaea. So you see a gradual evolutionary elevating of a teacher to God by his followers.  If jesus existed he would be pissed about it and his daddy too.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote:Who

zarathustra wrote:

Who un-crashed this party?

stellar renegade wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
2) If the holy spirit is the one who impregnated the virgin, then why is the father called “the father”?

haha, is this serious? Sorry, I wasn't sure if you were trolling with that one or not. God the Father is our father in the sense that we have spirits like him, that we can love, have compassion, intellectual intelligence, good intentions, etc.

It may amount to nothing more than a question of semantics, but no, I'm not trolling.  If it appears as trolling, that perhaps has more to do with the inherent nonsensicality of the doctrine itsef.

From the Nicene creed:  "...We believe in one lord, jesus christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father...by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man..."  So in the very same creed, we apparently have an profession of a Father "begetting" the Son, yet that the holy spirit did the actual fathering.

You're looking at it as a physical thing and forget the whole spiritual aspect of it.  Basically you're saying that because the Doctor delivered the baby, he's the actual father despite the fact that the husband actually did the creating.  

it is understood that Jesus is YHWH's son.  That's clear.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit HE WAS BORN...." not conceived.  Therefore, you could look at it as the Holy Spirit doing the delivering.  


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:zarathustra

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

It may amount to nothing more than a question of semantics, but no, I'm not trolling.  If it appears as trolling, that perhaps has more to do with the inherent nonsensicality of the doctrine itsef.

From the Nicene creed:  "...We believe in one lord, jesus christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father...by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man..."  So in the very same creed, we apparently have an profession of a Father "begetting" the Son, yet that the holy spirit did the actual fathering.

You're looking at it as a physical thing and forget the whole spiritual aspect of it.  Basically you're saying that because the Doctor delivered the baby, he's the actual father despite the fact that the husband actually did the creating.  

it is understood that Jesus is YHWH's son.  That's clear.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit HE WAS BORN...." not conceived.  Therefore, you could look at it as the Holy Spirit doing the delivering.  

 

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote:So you're

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.  

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:zarathustra

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.  

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  

The virgin birth story is completely fabricated and therefore does not even qualify as a myth. Tell me the Christmas story and I will respond to its composition.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
It's all clear now.      

It's all clear now.

 

 

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:It's all

mellestad wrote:

It's all clear now.

 

 

 

You have to be a sadist to expose us to such stuff. 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:zarathustra

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.  

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  

So, in other words, Jesus was not the physical son of God as is claimed. He is simply the spiritual heir. This is consistent with the Pauline view of Jesus not being a real person.

I don't think you meant to do that but thanks.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:caposkia

TGBaker wrote:

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.  

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  

The virgin birth story is completely fabricated and therefore does not even qualify as a myth. Tell me the Christmas story and I will respond to its composition.

 

 

...and you have research to support your conclusion?  That it's completely fabricated that is..  Check your sources before you answer.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:So, in other

jcgadfly wrote:

So, in other words, Jesus was not the physical son of God as is claimed.

Where is the Bible quoted saying 'Jesus is the physical son of God"..?  

Jesus came in the flesh?  yes

Jesus is the only begotten son of God? yes

Jesus is the only physical son of God?  no.. and if yes, I need a scripture reference.

jcgadfly wrote:

He is simply the spiritual heir. This is consistent with the Pauline view of Jesus not being a real person.

You can't compare the person of Jesus to other people.  Maybe that's where you're having a hard time with it.  Though he was completely human, he was still completely the son of God and therefore still a part of that perfect trio.  

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't think you meant to do that but thanks.

We can go there again, to the Pauline view, but as I've asked before and you among others have ignored it, we need to discuss the specific differences you seem to be finding in the Pauline view vs. the rest of scripture and how they are in fact different than what is being taught in the gospels.  Maybe you're actually seeing what should be understood finally.


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:zarathustra

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.

I'm all for keeping it simple.  However, a quick review of the attempts to explain the doctrine of trinity suggests that the only way to "keep it simple" is to ignore its inherent absurdity.  

caposkia wrote:
"By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.

What do you mean by "delivering"?  The holy spirit induced labor; cut the umbilical cord; and spanked the baby jesus to clear his lungs of fluid?  And...this was something only the holy spirit could do -- not god the father (or even god the son)?

caposkia wrote:
 

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  

Surely you realize that since we're discussing the trinity, you'll have to be clearer than saying "god"; and rather indicate which portion of the trinity you're referring to.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

So you're saying one part of the trinity impregnated the virgin, and another part of the trinity delivered?  Which and which? 

Let's keep it simple.  "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary"... Right there we see that pregnancy isn't even taken into consideration, only birth.  Therefore, it's clear by that statement that Jesus was born with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like delivering to me.  

God created and implemented the plan.  God is the creator and head of all things according to scripture and the story goes that an angel sent her the message about her pregnancy and what it would mean.  Therefore God caused things to be.  Or did the fathering.  Not physically mind you.  Remember, in this creed, the references are not just to the physical birth, but to what is happening spiritually.   It is understood that God did not procreate physically as many atheists try to make it seem, but that it was done spiritually.  The result was physical as well as spiritual.  

The virgin birth story is completely fabricated and therefore does not even qualify as a myth. Tell me the Christmas story and I will respond to its composition.

 

 

...and you have research to support your conclusion?  That it's completely fabricated that is..  Check your sources before you answer.

I have a degree in it. 35 years of research and I've checked the sources. Tell me your version of the Christmas Story and I will respond to you. It is a simple starting place.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote:I'm all

zarathustra wrote:

I'm all for keeping it simple.  However, a quick review of the attempts to explain the doctrine of trinity suggests that the only way to "keep it simple" is to ignore its inherent absurdity.  

in this instance I meant for this particular post.  In other words, step by step.

zarathustra wrote:

What do you mean by "delivering"?  The holy spirit induced labor; cut the umbilical cord; and spanked the baby jesus to clear his lungs of fluid?  And...this was something only the holy spirit could do -- not god the father (or even god the son)?

I was trying to use physical terminology to explain something that's happening spiritually.  It seems that approach isn't going to work.  It is understood that Jesus was delivered into this world just like any other birth.  The delivering i was talking about was the spirit to the baby if you will.  Or the person of Jesus to the flesh.  It's not saying that no other part could not have done it on their own, but they all work in cooperation with each other, so they all have a part in the tasks regardless of how capable one is.  It's a perfect cooperation.

Think about your job... I'm not sure what you do, it's not relevant, but instead of you being fully responsible for your position and your boss theirs, you'd split the complete job of everyone in your company equally among each of you so that you all had a part of everyones position and all had equal power in the company.   Would that mean that you're not capable of doing your position on your own?  of course not, but by splitting it up evenly, it makes the whole process much easier for everyone.  

Does that make sense when applied to this topic?

zarathustra wrote:

Surely you realize that since we're discussing the trinity, you'll have to be clearer than saying "god"; and rather indicate which portion of the trinity you're referring to.

despite your doctrinal understanding, when i refer to God, i am indicating which portion of the trinity I'm referring to.  There's only one God, YHWH, the rest are always referred to by their name and not as God or a god.  


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:zarathustra

caposkia wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

I'm all for keeping it simple.  However, a quick review of the attempts to explain the doctrine of trinity suggests that the only way to "keep it simple" is to ignore its inherent absurdity.  

in this instance I meant for this particular post.  In other words, step by step.

zarathustra wrote:

What do you mean by "delivering"?  The holy spirit induced labor; cut the umbilical cord; and spanked the baby jesus to clear his lungs of fluid?  And...this was something only the holy spirit could do -- not god the father (or even god the son)?

I was trying to use physical terminology to explain something that's happening spiritually.  It seems that approach isn't going to work.  It is understood that Jesus was delivered into this world just like any other birth.  The delivering i was talking about was the spirit to the baby if you will.  Or the person of Jesus to the flesh.  It's not saying that no other part could not have done it on their own, but they all work in cooperation with each other, so they all have a part in the tasks regardless of how capable one is.  It's a perfect cooperation.

Think about your job... I'm not sure what you do, it's not relevant, but instead of you being fully responsible for your position and your boss theirs, you'd split the complete job of everyone in your company equally among each of you so that you all had a part of everyones position and all had equal power in the company.   Would that mean that you're not capable of doing your position on your own?  of course not, but by splitting it up evenly, it makes the whole process much easier for everyone.  

Does that make sense when applied to this topic?

zarathustra wrote:

Surely you realize that since we're discussing the trinity, you'll have to be clearer than saying "god"; and rather indicate which portion of the trinity you're referring to.

despite your doctrinal understanding, when i refer to God, i am indicating which portion of the trinity I'm referring to.  There's only one God, YHWH, the rest are always referred to by their name and not as God or a god.  

Depends on which Christian cultus you are coming from... what about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that some churches use?  John 1:18 in the orignal Greek calls Jesus the monogenes Theon, the only begotten god, most translators try to get around because of their theological backgrounds... the Jehovah Witnesses can translate that way since their cultus depends on it being translated literally and accurately.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:Depends on

TGBaker wrote:

Depends on which Christian cultus you are coming from... what about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that some churches use? 

That's a doctrinal explanation of something that is literally beyond our comprehension.  To call all of them God himself is not "politically correct" though I question whether that's what the originators really meant. it'd be like saying you, your son, and your assistant at work who also outside of work is a family member are all you.  (assuming you have a son in this fabrication)  You and I both know that's not true and could never be.  Your son is your flesh and blood, but he will never be you no matter how much you want him to and no matter how hard he tries.  He will always be his own person.  same with your assistant family member.  

With the next part of your statement, i'll go into details about what "god' really means.

TGBaker wrote:
 

John 1:18 in the orignal Greek calls Jesus the monogenes Theon, the only begotten god, most translators try to get around because of their theological backgrounds... the Jehovah Witnesses can translate that way since their cultus depends on it being translated literally and accurately.

The problem with then assuming by this they meant that Jesus is God himself is that Jesus is still a separate person.  The Greeks and Bible writers referred many times to anyone who is more powerful themselves as a god.  Does that mean they were metaphysical and could perform miracles?  No, they might just be the next king to rule over the land.  the dictionary defines it as a "deifying of a person or item".  In other words, anyone who is seen to be in power could be deified.  They didn't mean that Jesus was God himself.  To even say that he is a begotten god is to say that he is not YHWH.  

The problem with the Jehovah's Witnesses in their translation is they do translate literally without taking into consideration context.  Both the New World Translation and... say the NASB are both translated correctly by literal means, but one is taking the context into consideration and the other is not.  What confuses people about the trinity is the equality of Jesus and the Spirit with God.  To suggest that any one of them is of less power than God Himself is to suggest that the trinity is broken or does not work and they then cannot work in cooperation, but are constantly subject to God.  In other words, they are nothing more than angels.  The key and purpose of exampling an idea such as the trinity is to express the cooperation that goes on between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Jesus as a man could have made any choice as a man, but due to his cooperation and understanding with God, he followed through with the plan.  The Holy Spirit is understood to have choice too and at any time theoretically could say no to God, but that again would not example the perfect cooperation and there would be no trinity.  

So then a question that keeps coming up when the perfect equality is explained is why are the other 2 parts needed?  If they're always going to agree with God then they really aren't needed and therefore the trinity is pointless.  I don't believe anyone could answer why originally it is like this any more than one can explain why your family had twins and not the next family.

 keep in mind we're sitting here trying to comprehend something that is understood to be beyond our comprehension.  

Beyond that, i'll explain that God could not have executed the NT without another part that could take the role of Jesus and the Spirit.  Remember that Jesus did not raise himself from the dead.  

 

 


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Depends on which Christian cultus you are coming from... what about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that some churches use? 

That's a doctrinal explanation of something that is literally beyond our comprehension.  To call all of them God himself is not "politically correct" though I question whether that's what the originators really meant. it'd be like saying you, your son, and your assistant at work who also outside of work is a family member are all you.  (assuming you have a son in this fabrication)  You and I both know that's not true and could never be.  Your son is your flesh and blood, but he will never be you no matter how much you want him to and no matter how hard he tries.  He will always be his own person.  same with your assistant family member.  

With the next part of your statement, i'll go into details about what "god' really means.

TGBaker wrote:
 

John 1:18 in the orignal Greek calls Jesus the monogenes Theon, the only begotten god, most translators try to get around because of their theological backgrounds... the Jehovah Witnesses can translate that way since their cultus depends on it being translated literally and accurately.

The problem with then assuming by this they meant that Jesus is God himself is that Jesus is still a separate person.  The Greeks and Bible writers referred many times to anyone who is more powerful themselves as a god.  Does that mean they were metaphysical and could perform miracles?  No, they might just be the next king to rule over the land.  the dictionary defines it as a "deifying of a person or item".  In other words, anyone who is seen to be in power could be deified.  They didn't mean that Jesus was God himself.  To even say that he is a begotten god is to say that he is not YHWH.  

The problem with the Jehovah's Witnesses in their translation is they do translate literally without taking into consideration context.  Both the New World Translation and... say the NASB are both translated correctly by literal means, but one is taking the context into consideration and the other is not.  What confuses people about the trinity is the equality of Jesus and the Spirit with God.  To suggest that any one of them is of less power than God Himself is to suggest that the trinity is broken or does not work and they then cannot work in cooperation, but are constantly subject to God.  In other words, they are nothing more than angels.  The key and purpose of exampling an idea such as the trinity is to express the cooperation that goes on between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Jesus as a man could have made any choice as a man, but due to his cooperation and understanding with God, he followed through with the plan.  The Holy Spirit is understood to have choice too and at any time theoretically could say no to God, but that again would not example the perfect cooperation and there would be no trinity.  

So then a question that keeps coming up when the perfect equality is explained is why are the other 2 parts needed?  If they're always going to agree with God then they really aren't needed and therefore the trinity is pointless.  I don't believe anyone could answer why originally it is like this any more than one can explain why your family had twins and not the next family.

 keep in mind we're sitting here trying to comprehend something that is understood to be beyond our comprehension.  

Beyond that, i'll explain that God could not have executed the NT without another part that could take the role of Jesus and the Spirit.  Remember that Jesus did not raise himself from the dead.  

 

 

Actually I have taken consideration of the context which is simply a reformulation of the Christ as Logos.  The context is the typical Hellenistic world and Logos philosophy like that found in the Stoic writings and the jewish writer Philo of Alexandria. There is no confusion about the trinity because it is a fabrication. The earliest interpretations of John 1 by Christianity about the Christ was that there was a time when he was not. The motif is seen over and over again...the first born of creation the parallel of wisdom in Proverbs 8 also used by Philo. 


it meant that at the beginning the Christ was the firstborn of creation, the only begotten of god and the instrument of creation again paralleled by Proverbs 8, Stoicism, and Philo. NASB and New World or translations from "believers' who read into the text there theology. The jehovah Witness translation did not. Of course since they did such accurate translations they have all sorts of primitive and absurd Early Christian beliefs. Again there is no trinity so I do not care if an accurate reading breaks up a mythic godhead or not. That again is reading into a document what it historically did not mean. I don't know why you conclude anything about angels apart from your theology but as far as the Christ being subject to god Paul had an eschatology precisely like that:

22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Actually I comprehend the idea of trinity but since it is not logical it is not rational and meaningless whichin turn is the basis of the 1800 years of confusion about such a doctrine or competing doctrines. I do not think Jesus raised from the dead but that is not to point and has to do with other csriptural and historical considerations.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
The background with Wisdom


The background with Wisdom Christology is found in the concept of hypostasis. What is a hypostasis? Broadly defined, it is a quasi-personification of attributes proper to a deity, occupying an intermediate position between personalities and abstract beings.

In the Ancient Near East here are some examples:

  • Hu and Sia, in Egyptian tradition the creative word and understanding of Re-Atum
  • Ma'at, also Egyptian, a personification of right order in nature and society, a creation of Re
  • Mesaru and Kettu, or Righteousness and Right, Akkadian hypostases conceived of as qualities of the sun-god, or as gifts granted by him, or sometimes as personal beings or independent deities
  • the divine word, which proceeds via the character of breath and wind, in Sumerian and Akkadian literature

Wisdom in Proverbs

Wisdom in Proverbs 8, and Wisdom in Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo's logos, all fit hand in glove with these. Now let's look at some cites, starting with Prov. 8.

Proverbs 8:22-30 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him...

The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways, for the sake of his works. 23. Before the present age he founded me in the beginning. 24. Before he made the earth and before he made the depths, 25. before he brought forth the springs of the waters, before the mountains were established, and before all the hills, he begets me. 26. The Lord made countries and uninhabbited spaces and the habbitable heights of that beneath the skys. 27. When he prepared the sky, I was present with him, and when he marked out his own throne on the winds. 28. When he made strong the clouds above and when he made secure the springs beneath the sky 29. when he made strong the foundations of the earth, 30. I was beside him, fitting together, it is I who was the one in whom he took delight. And each day I was glad in his presence at every moment, 31. when he rejoiced when he had completed the world and rejoiced among the sons of men..." A New English Translation of the Septuagint 2007

The intercahangibility of wisdom (Sophia) and Word (logos) allowed for the theology of John.

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:Actually I

TGBaker wrote:

Actually I have taken consideration of the context which is simply a reformulation of the Christ as Logos.  The context is the typical Hellenistic world and Logos philosophy like that found in the Stoic writings and the jewish writer Philo of Alexandria. There is no confusion about the trinity because it is a fabrication. The earliest interpretations of John 1 by Christianity about the Christ was that there was a time when he was not. The motif is seen over and over again...the first born of creation the parallel of wisdom in Proverbs 8 also used by Philo. 

The indoctrinated trinity is a made up concept.  The idea of the three in cooperation is scriptural.  To call it a trinity and make it a "thing" is going beyond the scriptures.  i've said from day 1 I don't accept the doctrine, but I also don't accept the Jehovah's Witness extreme either where Jesus is just an angel and the Holy Spirit is God's power and not a personality.  

TGBaker wrote:

it meant that at the beginning the Christ was the firstborn of creation, the only begotten of god and the instrument of creation again paralleled by Proverbs 8, Stoicism, and Philo. NASB and New World or translations from "believers' who read into the text there theology. The jehovah Witness translation did not. Of course since they did such accurate translations they have all sorts of primitive and absurd Early Christian beliefs. Again there is no trinity so I do not care if an accurate reading breaks up a mythic godhead or not. That again is reading into a document what it historically did not mean. I don't know why you conclude anything about angels apart from your theology but as far as the Christ being subject to god Paul had an eschatology precisely like that:

22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

This goes to further prove my point that the son is not yet subject to God, but equal to him, yet he's still a separate person unlike some trinitarianists would like to claim.  IT will be at the end that this all takes place and there will be a hierarchy, but notice still within cooperation of the son who will "hand over the kingdom to God the Father".  Not by force, but on his own accord.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:The background

TGBaker wrote:

The background with Wisdom Christology is found in the concept of hypostasis. What is a hypostasis? Broadly defined, it is a quasi-personification of attributes proper to a deity, occupying an intermediate position between personalities and abstract beings.

In the Ancient Near East here are some examples:

  • Hu and Sia, in Egyptian tradition the creative word and understanding of Re-Atum
  • Ma'at, also Egyptian, a personification of right order in nature and society, a creation of Re
  • Mesaru and Kettu, or Righteousness and Right, Akkadian hypostases conceived of as qualities of the sun-god, or as gifts granted by him, or sometimes as personal beings or independent deities
  • the divine word, which proceeds via the character of breath and wind, in Sumerian and Akkadian literature

Wisdom in Proverbs

Wisdom in Proverbs 8, and Wisdom in Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo's logos, all fit hand in glove with these. Now let's look at some cites, starting with Prov. 8.

Proverbs 8:22-30 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him...

The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways, for the sake of his works. 23. Before the present age he founded me in the beginning. 24. Before he made the earth and before he made the depths, 25. before he brought forth the springs of the waters, before the mountains were established, and before all the hills, he begets me. 26. The Lord made countries and uninhabbited spaces and the habbitable heights of that beneath the skys. 27. When he prepared the sky, I was present with him, and when he marked out his own throne on the winds. 28. When he made strong the clouds above and when he made secure the springs beneath the sky 29. when he made strong the foundations of the earth, 30. I was beside him, fitting together, it is I who was the one in whom he took delight. And each day I was glad in his presence at every moment, 31. when he rejoiced when he had completed the world and rejoiced among the sons of men..." A New English Translation of the Septuagint 2007

The intercahangibility of wisdom (Sophia) and Word (logos) allowed for the theology of John.

 

It is noted and understood by educated Christians that this is; "A hymn describing wisdom's role in creation.  Wisdom here is personified."  -Zondervan


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Actually I have taken consideration of the context which is simply a reformulation of the Christ as Logos.  The context is the typical Hellenistic world and Logos philosophy like that found in the Stoic writings and the jewish writer Philo of Alexandria. There is no confusion about the trinity because it is a fabrication. The earliest interpretations of John 1 by Christianity about the Christ was that there was a time when he was not. The motif is seen over and over again...the first born of creation the parallel of wisdom in Proverbs 8 also used by Philo. 

The indoctrinated trinity is a made up concept.  The idea of the three in cooperation is scriptural.  To call it a trinity and make it a "thing" is going beyond the scriptures.  i've said from day 1 I don't accept the doctrine, but I also don't accept the Jehovah's Witness extreme either where Jesus is just an angel and the Holy Spirit is God's power and not a personality.  

TGBaker wrote:

it meant that at the beginning the Christ was the firstborn of creation, the only begotten of god and the instrument of creation again paralleled by Proverbs 8, Stoicism, and Philo. NASB and New World or translations from "believers' who read into the text there theology. The jehovah Witness translation did not. Of course since they did such accurate translations they have all sorts of primitive and absurd Early Christian beliefs. Again there is no trinity so I do not care if an accurate reading breaks up a mythic godhead or not. That again is reading into a document what it historically did not mean. I don't know why you conclude anything about angels apart from your theology but as far as the Christ being subject to god Paul had an eschatology precisely like that:

22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

This goes to further prove my point that the son is not yet subject to God, but equal to him, yet he's still a separate person unlike some trinitarianists would like to claim.  IT will be at the end that this all takes place and there will be a hierarchy, but notice still within cooperation of the son who will "hand over the kingdom to God the Father".  Not by force, but on his own accord.

I quite simply state that in the teleilon (End) the Son will be subjected to the Father.  The verses reflects a process panentheism. But it also supports Pauls's view of the holy spirit being an aspect of god's personality not jesus's ( the spirit of Christ). What I see is a spiritual hierarchy that becomes a literal cosmological subjection through time. I agree about the jehovah Witnesses but their translation reveals early Arianism which is consistent with the development of Christianity in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:]I quite

TGBaker wrote:

]I quite simply state that in the teleilon (End) the Son will be subjected to the Father.  The verses reflects a process panentheism.

...and the natural hierarchy of parent and child.

TGBaker wrote:

But it also supports Pauls's view of the holy spirit being an aspect of god's personality not jesus's ( the spirit of Christ).

Which was never in dispute

TGBaker wrote:

What I see is a spiritual hierarchy that becomes a literal cosmological subjection through time. I agree about the jehovah Witnesses but their translation reveals early Arianism which is consistent with the development of Christianity in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries.

...and was quickly rejected in centuries soon after.  It's hard to rectify a mistake when it's been indoctrinated.  

 

 


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

]I quite simply state that in the teleilon (End) the Son will be subjected to the Father.  The verses reflects a process panentheism.

...and the natural hierarchy of parent and child.

TGBaker wrote:

But it also supports Pauls's view of the holy spirit being an aspect of god's personality not jesus's ( the spirit of Christ).

Which was never in dispute

TGBaker wrote:

What I see is a spiritual hierarchy that becomes a literal cosmological subjection through time. I agree about the jehovah Witnesses but their translation reveals early Arianism which is consistent with the development of Christianity in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries.

...and was quickly rejected in centuries soon after.  It's hard to rectify a mistake when it's been indoctrinated.  

 

 

The texts says what it says. The exegesis is only rejected for anon-authentic interpretation based upon the filter of dogma. It is in fact not rejected as the meaning of the text by most exegetes.  I know it does not conform to your doctrine of the Three but the suspension of doctrine is the only means to understand the author of a text and what his/her words mean.  I don't agree with either your doctrine or Paul's for that matter but legitimate hermeutical and exegetical application is simply to state what the texts means in itself as intended by the author.  Jesus was not originally even considered divine by his early followers. That took a lot of outside assimilation.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

The background with Wisdom Christology is found in the concept of hypostasis. What is a hypostasis? Broadly defined, it is a quasi-personification of attributes proper to a deity, occupying an intermediate position between personalities and abstract beings.

In the Ancient Near East here are some examples:

  • Hu and Sia, in Egyptian tradition the creative word and understanding of Re-Atum
  • Ma'at, also Egyptian, a personification of right order in nature and society, a creation of Re
  • Mesaru and Kettu, or Righteousness and Right, Akkadian hypostases conceived of as qualities of the sun-god, or as gifts granted by him, or sometimes as personal beings or independent deities
  • the divine word, which proceeds via the character of breath and wind, in Sumerian and Akkadian literature

Wisdom in Proverbs

Wisdom in Proverbs 8, and Wisdom in Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo's logos, all fit hand in glove with these. Now let's look at some cites, starting with Prov. 8.

Proverbs 8:22-30 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him...

The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways, for the sake of his works. 23. Before the present age he founded me in the beginning. 24. Before he made the earth and before he made the depths, 25. before he brought forth the springs of the waters, before the mountains were established, and before all the hills, he begets me. 26. The Lord made countries and uninhabbited spaces and the habbitable heights of that beneath the skys. 27. When he prepared the sky, I was present with him, and when he marked out his own throne on the winds. 28. When he made strong the clouds above and when he made secure the springs beneath the sky 29. when he made strong the foundations of the earth, 30. I was beside him, fitting together, it is I who was the one in whom he took delight. And each day I was glad in his presence at every moment, 31. when he rejoiced when he had completed the world and rejoiced among the sons of men..." A New English Translation of the Septuagint 2007

The intercahangibility of wisdom (Sophia) and Word (logos) allowed for the theology of John.

 

It is noted and understood by educated Christians that this is; "A hymn describing wisdom's role in creation.  Wisdom here is personified."  -Zondervan

yes but that is simply contemporary Christians. Sophia was worshipped as God's consort on the Island of Elephantine in Egypt.  The Greek Jewish philosopher Philo  equated Wisdom with Logos where the author of John gets his reinterpretation of Jesus as a preexistent principle of god's nature. Some saw the idea of Messiah as preexistent as well and mixed and matched these Hellenistic influnces to give you what you believe today.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:The texts says

TGBaker wrote:

The texts says what it says. The exegesis is only rejected for anon-authentic interpretation based upon the filter of dogma. It is in fact not rejected as the meaning of the text by most exegetes.  I know it does not conform to your doctrine of the Three but the suspension of doctrine is the only means to understand the author of a text and what his/her words mean.  I don't agree with either your doctrine or Paul's for that matter but legitimate hermeutical and exegetical application is simply to state what the texts means in itself as intended by the author.  Jesus was not originally even considered divine by his early followers. That took a lot of outside assimilation.

 

 

I try to take the text for what it says and not make my own interpretation of it.  In order to do that, i need to take into consideration the same things that those who made doctrines out of it did in order to understand what is being said.  You would know we can't just take the text from the English translation, but must look back into the languages and writing styles.  

Jesus was not understood by his early followers as scripture dictates.  Up until his death they were questioning who he really was and still didn't comprehend until his resurrection


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2571
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
TGBaker wrote:yes but that

TGBaker wrote:

yes but that is simply contemporary Christians. Sophia was worshipped as God's consort on the Island of Elephantine in Egypt.  The Greek Jewish philosopher Philo  equated Wisdom with Logos where the author of John gets his reinterpretation of Jesus as a preexistent principle of god's nature. Some saw the idea of Messiah as preexistent as well and mixed and matched these Hellenistic influnces to give you what you believe today.

 

 

Understanding the cultures of the time, the question wasn't so much is God real or not, it was more, which god/gods should I follow... It was normal for people to "switch" gods daily because their god wasn't working the way they hoped.  Therefore mixing and matching happened a lot.  So then the question comes, what god was the right god to follow?  Is it logical for us to conclude that because there were so many choices for gods that a metaphysical existence just isn't real?    

This kind of goes off topic here, but it's relevant for your point.  your conclusion that the mixing and matching invalidates the belief is false.

 


TGBaker
atheist
TGBaker's picture
Posts: 1367
Joined: 2011-02-06
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:TGBaker

caposkia wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

yes but that is simply contemporary Christians. Sophia was worshipped as God's consort on the Island of Elephantine in Egypt.  The Greek Jewish philosopher Philo  equated Wisdom with Logos where the author of John gets his reinterpretation of Jesus as a preexistent principle of god's nature. Some saw the idea of Messiah as preexistent as well and mixed and matched these Hellenistic influnces to give you what you believe today.

 

 

Understanding the cultures of the time, the question wasn't so much is God real or not, it was more, which god/gods should I follow... It was normal for people to "switch" gods daily because their god wasn't working the way they hoped.  Therefore mixing and matching happened a lot.  So then the question comes, what god was the right god to follow?  Is it logical for us to conclude that because there were so many choices for gods that a metaphysical existence just isn't real?    

This kind of goes off topic here, but it's relevant for your point.  your conclusion that the mixing and matching invalidates the belief is false.

 

I don't think it necessarily does. I think that it does in the case of the texts. The 40 years I have studied the"Historical Jesus" has led me to conclude contrary to the Jesus Mythicist view that jesus was a historical person. What you find is mostly myth attached to the original impact had on his contemporaries. You see a consistent development from  a Galilean ( and there were several similar to him) to a more and more miraculous figure. Then I see and association with the Wisdom motif that open the doors to the Logos concept and gnosticism. This later in dialectic developed into trinitarianisms.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism