Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:54 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:38 pm
check back and you will see, but it does not matter. Let's not get into the interpretation of Revelation right now.
Ok.
You may be looking at the wrong definition of fiction. I'm referring to fiction that is something that is invented or untrue.
I know you think these things are untrue so just using an alternative word for that does not advance your argument. What if something is true and made up; is that still fiction?
Give me an example.
You have to realise that this was an era where the majority of folklorish, apocryphal and psuedographical writings were the norm, not the other way around. It was also the reason why there were over 20 original gospels in the NT, they culled it down to 4 as the former had too much folklore to be taken seriously.
It is quite hard to make sense of that first sentence. The majority is what there is most of and the norm is what is usual so to say the majority of something is the norm is tautological. I think you mean something like the majority of writings in that ere were folklorish, apocryphal and psuedographical. This still does not make a great deal of sense. Firstly, what era are you referring to, a short period such as the end of the first century when the NT writings are mostly thought to have been written or a much longer period like the first few Christian centuries. I guess you mean the majority of Christian writings not the majority of writings of any kind. The three categories you have lumped together are very diverse in meaning. By folklorish I am guessing you mean transmitted orally before being written down, and while this may be true of narrative writings it is not true of other types of writing like letters or homilies in any of the eras you may mean, and narative writings form a quite small part of surviving Christian writings. And in the case of narratives oral transmission cannot automatically be taken as an indicator of unreliability. The term apocryphal literally means hidden and derives from St Jerome. When considering the canon of the Old Testament there were certain books he felt should not be included and so were hidden. So, the term comes to mean not included in a canon. Yes, of the course the majority of Christian writings over the first few centuries were not included in the canon, but what a pointless thing to say! Again there is pseudographic material, material written under false names, and quite a lot of it, but generally the further you go back in history the less there is. The more the writings of people associated with Jesus or the apostles was valued the greater the temptation to ascribe later writings to them in the hope they would be accepted. The question of how much pseudographia relates back to that very early period I take to be still open.
I meant that the majority of writings in that era were fictional pieces of fantasy and it was normal to write fantastic, deceptive stories where the authors were lying to promote their cause.
So you used three words that did not mean what you meant to say; it would be interesting to see a break down of types of writing in that era; I would be astonished if most of the writings were narrative in form and intending to deceive.
Try reading Bart Ehrman's "Forged" http://www.bartdehrman.com/forged-writi ... me-of-god/
There is no list of canonical books I am aware of that contains 20 gospels. By 180 Irenaeus was comparing the four gospels to the four winds so the idea of these four books having authority seems to have been well established by then. It is not very long since you were telling us that the original canon was that of Marcion which contains only one gospel. There cannot originally have been only one gospel in the canon and originally have been 20.
There are well over 20 gospels of Jesus Christ. However, the Catholic Church found it necessary to leave certain ones out. The gospel of Mary Magdalene, possibly the most famous Apocrypha for example, depicts her being second to Jesus rather than Peter. It also insinuates that Mary and Jesus were lovers, and forms the basis of alternative interpretations and conspiracies such as in Holy Blood, Holy Grail. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus asserts that the idea of hell is not for an eternity, rather a time that meets the severity of the punishment. A gospel according to Judas (dating to around the 3rd/4th Century AD) was discovered in the 1970s but has only really been studied since the late 90s. This alters the narrative slightly to portray Judas' actions towards the end of Jesus' story not as a betrayal, but as following the instructions of Jesus himself. Considering that it is canonical Christian belief that it was God's plan to have Jesus brutally murdered, this does make some sick and twisted sense.
Rational Wiki is not a reliable source,
I would say that it is a much more reliable source than the Bible. It's not full of contradictions, forgeries, magical accounts of miracles and outright lies that fills your holy book.
It is not a view you have provided any evidence for though is it?
Read Genesis to start with. It's full of lies designed to deceive the reader. Want some examples?
Only if you can give examples that clearly indicate an intention to deceive.
Sure, I'll give some later.
It's also mainly used deceptively to empower the authors.
Either what you say or: The writers of that beast fable were symbolising something which later writers recognise as the thing they call Satan. Adam and Eve felt the presence of a tempter. There is no need to take the language of being made from the dust literally. The argument from personal incredulity is not valid.
What I say is more parsimonious. See Occam's Razor.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:52 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:33 pm
It looks like you DO feel uncomfortable answering these incisive questions. Too bad, it may have helped you recover from your irrational beliefs.
I'm trying to answer your questionsin order. I am in no great hurry. You don'tseem to take the answers I give onboard anyway.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:13 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:34 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:12 pm
but anyone who does have any Christian beliefs must have been indoctrinated and nothing could persuade you otherwise; is that correct?
No. There could be a Christian that has not been indoctrinated with religious beliefs by anyone else as a child and as an adult has picked up a Bible and has been swayed by its great truths without any coercion by evangelical Christians. Do you know of anyone like that?
Okay. So what you are sayingis that if someonehas Christian beliefs and if they have been in any way influenced by another person they must have been coerced by evangelicals.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:49 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:13 pm
SEG wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:34 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:12 pm
but anyone who does have any Christian beliefs must have been indoctrinated and nothing could persuade you otherwise; is that correct?
No. There could be a Christian that has not been indoctrinated with religious beliefs by anyone else as a child and as an adult has picked up a Bible and has been swayed by its great truths without any coercion by evangelical Christians. Do you know of anyone like that?
Okay. So what you are sayingis that if someone has Christian beliefs and if they have been in any way influenced by another person they must have been coerced by evangelicals.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by searchengineguy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:32 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:52 pm
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:33 pm
It looks like you DO feel uncomfortable answering these incisive questions. Too bad, it may have helped you recover from your irrational beliefs.
I'm trying to answer your questionsin order. I am in no great hurry. You don'tseem to take the answers I give onboard anyway.
Cool, I don't mind waiting. I try my best to answer all of your questions. Whether I take them on board or not depends on their validity.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by searchengineguy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:34 pm

BTW, I trouble signing in and couldn't recover my password, so I reverted back to my original alias.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by searchengineguy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:57 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:13 pm
SEG wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:34 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:12 pm
but anyone who does have any Christian beliefs must have been indoctrinated and nothing could persuade you otherwise; is that correct?
No. There could be a Christian that has not been indoctrinated with religious beliefs by anyone else as a child and as an adult has picked up a Bible and has been swayed by its great truths without any coercion by evangelical Christians. Do you know of anyone like that?
Okay. So what you are sayingis that if someonehas Christian beliefs and if they have been in any way influenced by another person they must have been coerced by evangelicals.
No, I'm saying they have either been indoctrinated as children by persons with religious beliefs or coerced as adults by evangelical Christians. I don't believe that anyone that has remained untouched by the influence of evangelical Christians or parents with religious beliefs would pick up a Bible and be convinced of its great truths and convert to Christianity. I could be wrong though. Do you know of anyone like that?
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by searchengineguy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:43 pm

Read Genesis to start with. It's full of lies designed to deceive the reader. Want some examples?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:38 pm
Only if you can give examples that clearly indicate an intention to deceive.
Have a look at the first creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:3, it was written long after the second creation story in Genesis 2:4-3:24. These different accounts were deceptively crafted into the OT to make it seem it was the same narrative. See: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/passage ... in-genesis
The Two Creations in Genesis
by David Bokovoy
The Bible opens with two different creation stories. The accounts are similar in that they both describe the creation of animals, plants, and humans. But they are distinct in several ways and even contradict each other on key issues.

For example, though the stories describe some of the same events, they order them differently. InGen 1, God creates plants, then animals, and then simultaneously creates man and woman. In Gen 2, God creates a human, plants, then animals, and later he divides the human into female and male. Additionally, the two stories employ different names for the deity. The first account uses the Hebrew word Elohim, meaning “God,” whereas the second uses the tetragrammaton, YHWH (often represented by “Lord”).

The stories are also very different in literary style. The first account appears neatly organized into three days of preparation followed by three days of actual formation. Each day concludes with the formulaic expression “and there was X.” By the seventh day, all creation exists in its proper sphere, and God rests. This orderly pattern suggests an orderly universe. The second story (beginning in the second half of Gen 2:4 and continuing through the end of chapter 3) lacks both the structure and the focus of the first creation account. It is much less formulaic; rather, it is a dramatic narrative in a series of seven scenes.

Because of these and other divergences, it is likely that separate authors with distinct theological views and agendas wrote these myths. The differences in the accounts reflect the unique way each author conceptualizes the deity. In Gen 1, God is distant, creating through speech according to a master plan. This image contrasts with Gen 2, where the author depicts God as a human-like figure who walks in the garden and, like a potter working with clay, has a hands-on, trial-and-error approach to creation. God in this version seems more accessible than the transcendent creator of Gen 1.

Yet despite these differences, the two stories have been redacted (edited and combined) in Genesis to read as a literary unit. The first account begins with a superscription introducing the narrative as the time “when God began to create heaven and earth” (Gen 1:1). It concludes with a summary statement that brackets the account: “this is the story of heaven and earth when they were created” (Gen 2:4). The second story begins in the same verse, with a similar clause, “When the Lord God made earth and heaven.” Though both narratives commence with the same word pair, they place the terms in the opposite order.

Perhaps an editor who wanted the first account to depict a “heavenly” creation and the second an “earthly” creation reversed the superscription in Gen 1 to read “heaven and earth.” Such a switch works because the first story is much more cosmic in its orientation than the second. Genesis 1, for example, depicts the creation of an expanse separating the heavenly from the earthly waters, as well as celestial objects such as the sun, moon, and stars. In contrast, the second story depicts not the creation of the sky or heavenly sphere but the formation of shrubs, fields, earth, and a garden. This difference allowed the stories to be reconciled as a literary unit, since the first text ends where the second begins—the earth. In its present form, the first creation account provides a prologue to the subsequent stories in Genesis describing humankind in the primordial era.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:22 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:06 pm
Now we are getting really close to what you really believe. Do you mind answering these really important questions?
1. A biological being is either alive or it is dead. Correct?
2. What is an immaterial intelligent "power"?
3. Is it a living being?
4. If it is, how could you tell?
5. How could you tell how it is being bad?
6. How could it exist in our material world?
7. How could it have any affect on the material world?
8. How could it exist without making a footprint? IOW where is the evidence of it existing?
9.Do you believe this power affects how you live your life?
10.What is a pure intelligence?
11. Is there such a thing as impure intelligence?
12. How you know there are more than one?

If you feel too uncomfortable answering these questions (I wouldn't blame you, I would feel quiet silly being in this position if I were you), could you at least answer number 9?
I don't feel the answers to these questions will turn out to be very interesting. I am not sure what significance you are attaching to these questions so I will not give extended answers since these may be to questions you did not intend. I suspect that the underlying question is something like 'How can materialism be false if it is true' but I am not sure. The answers are:
1. incorrect. There is no universally agreed definition of life and even when a definition is adopted there tend to be borderline cases. I am not sure this is relevant to the other questions so I will not pursue this in detail.
2. Immaterial means not made of matter. Intelligent means able to know or understand. Power refers to an ability to act.
3.That depends on which definition of life you use.
4. Take the definition you want to use and take the concept of immaterial intelligent power and compare the two.
5. Take a definition of bad and compare it to the supposed consequences of this being’s actions.
6. By taking on some properties commensurate with existing in that world. So for example a number which is non-material could be instantiated at a particular place and time without it existing at that place or time. We would not for example say the number seven exists at this or that place.
7. By taking on properties which enabled it to interact with the material world or by acting on other entities which can exist and act on the material world such as minds.
8. It could do this if it desired and was able to conceal itself. The second question does not seem to be a paraphrase of the first which encourages my suspicion that you are often not asking what you appear to be asking. The evidence would be in the consequences of its actions.
9. Yes. Though I am not sure what you are asking. Are you asking does having the idea of such a being influence me or do I believe it influences me through its putative metaphysical properties?
10. Intelligence that is not embodied.
11. Yes. There is embodied intelligence.
12. If you mean more than one ontologically, I don’t think you could know and am not sure this matters. If you mean more than one phenomenologically you could know if there appeared to be more than one if there appeared to be more than one.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:46 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:54 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:38 pm
I know you think these things are untrue so just using an alternative word for that does not advance your argument. What if something is true and made up; is that still fiction?
Give me an example.
A scientific theory is made up. Sometimes we know who made the theory up and we talk about Eintein's theory of relativity or Newton's theory of gravity. Other times the theory may have emerged over time and been amendedbut we know these are products of times and places and concepts, they are not simple descriptions. They are made up. But they are alsoin osme sense true about the world. You have said you would gosofar as tocall some theories facts. I would not gothat far but I do believe some theories to be, to all intests and purposes, true. So are scientific theories works of fiction? What about opinions such as Dawkins opinion that evolution hapens for the propogation of genes. As he puts it
We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.
Now that is not a testable claim, it is an interpretation of the facts not the facts, but Dawkins clearly believes it to be a truth. But it is also something that has been made up.

I said
I guess you mean the majority of Christian writings not the majority of writings of any kind.
you replied:
I meant that the majority of writings in that era were fictional pieces of fantasy and it was normal to write fantastic, deceptive stories where the authors were lying to promote their cause.
So I took that to mean you were referring to all writings of any kind by anyone and replied:
; it would be interesting to see a break down of types of writing in that era; I would be astonished if most of the writings were narrative in form and intending to deceive.
You replied:
In so far as the book does address the issue of all literature, and that is only in relation to the one issue of pseudography, it reaches the opposite conclusion to yours.Pseudographis was not that common in that culture. It is still not clear what era you are talking about. I said sometime back that I held the question of whether there was a lot of literature from the New Testament era was pseudographical to be still open. The arguments for it always fall for me against the point raised by John Robinson back in the seventies; if large chunks of the NT are pseudographical we have to assume that a whole lot of major thinkers, the shapers of Christian doctrine, appeared and left no mark on history other than their writings. Prima facie that is implausible. But if you are referring to a much longer period then you are right that pseudogaphical works did appear. But you are wrong in thinking fantastic narratives were the dominant form of writing by Christians in that period. Letters, doctrinal treatesis, aplogetics and sermons are far more numerous.
Rational Wiki is not a reliable source,
I would say that it is a much more reliable source than the Bible. It's not full of contradictions, forgeries, magical accounts of miracles and outright lies that fills your holy book.
You are not comparing like with like. You will notice that in discussion with you I do not use the Bible as an authority you will accept because I know you don't. Whereas you have simply lifted your material from rational wiki as if it were an encyclopedia.
What I say is more parsimonious. See Occam's Razor.
The trouble with Occam's razor, the principle of parsimony, is that it tends to be used without acknowledgent of the corresponding principle of comprehensiveness. The most simple theory is not always the best. Deceptions can be very simple indeed.

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