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

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:20 am
by SEG
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:43 pm
Original sin is a complex doctrine, introduced by Augustine in the fourth century, never accepted at all in the Eastern Church and often questioned in the west. It is not anywhere near as central to the faith as you seem to think.
Did you know that many liberal scholars do not believe Christ’s resurrection was historical fact but rather that it was a spiritual event relative to faith? Whatever THAT means! They don't even believe that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead, or that he still lives bodily.

Christ's resurrection in reality doesn't seem important to many Christians.

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

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:45 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
SEG wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:24 am
Except you just said "No. It was a snake in a story"!
We have to distinguish between t he signifier and the thing signified. The snake in the story is a signifier and a signifier is not a snake, actual or otherwise. So I think you mean to ask is the thing signified by the snake in the story an actual snake. Now a great deal then depends on what you mean by an actual snake. If you mean a being with al the features of the snakes normally encountered by people at that time and no other features, then the answer has to be no, unless you think people at that time normaly encountered talking snakes. However, there is a long tradition in the part of the world where this story comes from of stories about talking snakes and these snakes in these stories signify wisdom, so the writer is subverting those stories.
If the STORY of Original Sin is not central to Christianity, I don't know what is.
I know you don't know. Original sin is a doctrine not a story, that is to say a belief or set of beliefs. The doctrine was developed hunderds of years after the story by Augustine of Hippo. That doctrine was developed based on the science of the day, but our understanding of the science of inheritance has changed. That does not mean no doctrine of original sin is now possible but it does mean the doctrine has to be adapted.
Btw, "existing in it's own right" means that it exists because it has it's own individual characteristics and not relying on anything else. It is a concept on it's own. This may be an Australian expression.
Could you give me an example of a thing which exists in its own right as so far you have only given examples of things that don't. I find this idea a difficult one. It reminds me of Wittgenstein's concept of atomic facts. He says somewhere in the tractatus that anything can be the case or not be the case while everything else remains the same and I just cannot imagine what he means, and of course he later changed his mind and saw meaning as something contextualised.
"... but my observation is that you have a very poor grasp of basic logic" - says the guy that believes in all sorts of woo. Including 2 million ex slaves of Egypt wandered in the desert for 40 years without leaving a trace of evidence!
This illustrates the point I was making. You cannot critique someone's logic by ridiculing their belief's. If those beliefs are held because of a process of reasoning you could critique their reasoning by examining that process.

And when we discussed this I said on several occasions that I held no such belief. It seems like you canot remember anything of what I said and only remember the position you had chosen to argue against. And as hapens so often with you, it was not a position anyone you were arguing with actually held. It's like you have your position worked out in advance and just keep trotting it out regarless of what is said to you.

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

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:32 pm
by SEG
I remember in the old forum that you said that just because there wasn't any evidence of vast numbers of Egyptian slaves (no, you probably didn't admit to 2 million) wandering in the desert for 40 years, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen. Oh, and you dodged this important point that I made earlier:
Moonwood the Hare wrote: So personally I doubt that the writer of Genesis was specificaly thinking of Satan but when later believers look back, they say 'Ah yes, that thing you were trying to describe, that is an aspect of the thing we now call Satan.'
Yes, I doubt it too. Otherwise it would be written somewhere in the rest of the Bible and it's not. Satan is not known in Genesis because when the story was written, ancient Israelites had no concept of the devil. It was another 300 years before the concept was invented. If educated Christians were honest about this they would teach less educated Christians not to retrofit their erroneous preconceptions.
If you know that it was impossible for the author of Genesis to have imagined the snake was Satan because the concept wasn't invented for another 300 years, why don't you correct ignorant people like Claire and Chappy of their misconceptions? Unless of course you too are just as ignorant of this fact?

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

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:52 pm
by SEG
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:45 pm
This illustrates the point I was making. You cannot critique someone's logic by ridiculing their belief's. If those beliefs are held because of a process of reasoning you could critique their reasoning by examining that process.
To the contrary, ridicule and mockery is a very salient way of exposing someone's lack of logic by ridiculing their belief's.

Your holy book was written by ignorant people that believed in magical trees and snakes (this was not an original concept btw, lots of cultures had silly stories of magical trees and snakes), dead people rising and walking into town, a man being swallowed by a whale (called a great fish) etc.

Right from the start your ancient book tells lies which haven't any logic attached to them like these ones:
SAB Absurdity List
Genesis
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5
God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. 1:6-8
Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11
In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used "for signs". This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read "the signs" in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. 1:14
"He made the stars also." God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions of stars. 1:16
So if I did critique their reasoning by examining that process, would it make any difference to you? I don't think so. You would still wander into your church and let whoever was spewing nonsense like this over you on that day do so, so you could nod sagely in agreeance.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:39 am
by Moonwood the Hare
Hi SEG

We are back to our familiar problem. It seems to me you either misunderstand or misrepresent almost everything I say. I am not sure if the misrepresentations are deliberate or not. I could go through all this line by line and point it out but there would be little point.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:09 pm
by SEG
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:39 am
Hi SEG

We are back to our familiar problem. It seems to me you either misunderstand or misrepresent almost everything I say. I am not sure if the misrepresentations are deliberate or not. I could go through all this line by line and point it out but there would be little point.
Please do continue Moon. Only further discussions will make things clearer for both you and I. I don't argue for the sake of "winning" an argument with you. You have got me thinking that I should take a course on logic, or read a book on the subject. I researched logical fallacies a while ago and it gave me a much better understanding of what makes a good or bad argument. I still struggle a bit with syllogisms.

You on the other hand argue quite well and you have made some very good literary suggestions. But when it comes to claims of God or Jesus, your arguments get whittled down to the level of faith, which has no or little evidence to support it.

I'm still not quiet sure what you feel your best evidence of claims is for either God or Jesus, but I would be interested in seeing what your claims are and whether there is anything that doesn't reduce down to faith.

Once that happens, it usually means the claims have run out of corroborating evidence.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:18 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
SEG wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:32 pm
I remember in the old forum that you said that just because there wasn't any evidence of vast numbers of Egyptian slaves (no, you probably didn't admit to 2 million) wandering in the desert for 40 years, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen.
But there is a huge difference between saying I do think something is impossible and saying I believe it happened. As I kept telling you I think Flinders Petrie's suggestion that was an explicable scribal error is very plausible.
Oh, and you dodged this important point that I made earlier:
Moonwood the Hare wrote: So personally I doubt that the writer of Genesis was specificaly thinking of Satan but when later belie ers look back, they say 'Ah yes, that thing you were trying to describe, that is an aspect of the thing we now call Satan.'
Yes, I doubt it too. Otherwise it would be written somewhere in the rest of the Bible and it's not. Satan is not known in Genesis because when the story was written, ancient Israelites had no concept of the devil. It was another 300 years before the concept was invented. If educated Christians were honest about this they would teach less educated Christians not to retrofit their erroneous preconceptions.
If you know that it was impossible for the author of Genesis to have imagined the snake was Satan because the concept wasn't invented for another 300 years, why don't you correct ignorant people like Claire and Chappy of their misconceptions? Unless of course you too are just as ignorant of this fact?
Well firstly the dating gap you are treating as a fact depends on theories about dating that are not univerally accepted. If we are talking about the author of the final redaction then that could be close in date to the earliest mentions of Satan in the book of Numbers and if you take the most conservative dating then again that would place the two at around the same time as well. But according to some theories of dating there would perhaps be this gap between the story's original telling and a fully developed conceptof Satan. But as I had already indicated in the piece you quote above even if the concept did not exist when Genesis was written it does not mean later believers were mistaken in making that identification, it just means they were applying a contemporary concept to an older story. It is written elsewhere in the Bible. In Revelation the serpent is specificaly identified with Satan and this identification is implied by Paulin the book of Romans. I wasn't dodging something I felt was important.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:01 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
SEG wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:52 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:45 pm
This illustrates the point I was making. You cannot critique someone's logic by ridiculing their belief's. If those beliefs are held because of a process of reasoning you could critique their reasoning by examining that process.
To the contrary, ridicule and mockery is a very salient way of exposing someone's lack of logic by ridiculing their belief's.

It really isn't. It seems ridiculous to some people that there can be different sizes of infinity. But it can be proved logically, and the people who challenge this idea do so by constructing alternative mathematics. Just laughing at an idea because it is surprising or unusual is encouraging a culture of ignorance.
Your holy book was written by ignorant people that believed in magical trees and snakes (this was not an original concept btw, lots of cultures had silly stories of magical trees and snakes), dead people rising and walking into town, a man being swallowed by a whale (called a great fish) etc.
You see this is why I don't think you read what I say. I had just said stories regarding talking snakes were well known in the culture in question and now you act as if you are informing me of this. Are you suggesting that people in ancient times were not aware that snakes do not normally speak? Again why doyou feel the need to say these stories are silly; it suggests you are incapable of empathising with the folklore of another culture. People are using these symbols to say something they feel is important. I just find your approach very unimaginative.
Right from the start your ancient book tells lies which haven't any logic attached to them like these ones:

Again this shows a lack of sensitivity and imagination. People are not lying when they use symbols you are unfamiliar with in ways you do not expect.
I am going to disregard this. It is not your work and you are as capable of googling for responces to these arguments as you are of googling for the arguments.
So if I did critique their reasoning by examining that process, would it make any difference to you? I don't think so. You would still wander into your church and let whoever was spewing nonsense like this over you on that day do so, so you could nod sagely in agreeance.
I think you are over estimating the role of reason. Reason is a powerful tool but also a limited one; the more you understand it the more you see what it can and cannot do. Some of the greatest logicians have been aware of this. If you present a sound argument I wil consider it but I am not expecting you to come up with a new argument that will overthrow my whole worldview. A lot of what you dismiss as nonsence is not nonsense even if it seems so to you.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:21 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
SEG wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:09 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:39 am
Hi SEG

We are back to our familiar problem. It seems to me you either misunderstand or misrepresent almost everything I say. I am not sure if the misrepresentations are deliberate or not. I could go through all this line by line and point it out but there would be little point.
Please do continue Moon. Only further discussions will make things clearer for both you and I. I don't argue for the sake of "winning" an argument with you. You have got me thinking that I should take a course on logic, or read a book on the subject. I researched logical fallacies a while ago and it gave me a much better understanding of what makes a good or bad argument. I still struggle a bit with syllogisms.
Well, I tend to pick stuff up in bits and pieces. So, did your research into fallacies mention the error of affirming the consequent and the problem of induction? What becomes more and more apparent to me is that there are few closed logical circles and all knowledge is person relative.
You on the other hand argue quite well and you have made some very good literary suggestions. But when it comes to claims of God or Jesus, your arguments get whittled down to the level of faith, which has no or little evidence to support it.
It has more to do with intuitions and personal experience. There is a facinating letter by Descartes where he concedes that the cogito is not really a proof. in order for it to work you have to know that a thing has to exist in order to experience and that you know by what he calls intuition. Pascal who was about a generation after Descartes and he differed from Descartes in thinking God could be known by intuition of this kind and did not need to be proved. These arguments about the foundations of knowledge bridge all disciplines. How do we know the laws of logic are valid? How do we know they are always valid? One solution to the problem of having different sizes of infinity is to deny the universal aplication of one logical law, the law of excluded middle.
I'm still not quiet sure what you feel your best evidence of claims is for either God or Jesus, but I would be interested in seeing what your claims are and whether there is anything that doesn't reduce down to faith.
I would not aproach it in that way. I would say that if you want to know ifthere is a God begin by asking him to show you if he is there. Then be open to the possibility he may do so. If you feel you could not trust that kind of experience then what you are doing is saying the experience that tells you to distrust in this context is more valid.
Once that happens, it usually means the claims have run out of corroborating evidence.
The problem is that two people can look at the same facts and see them in different ways. What convinces me will not convince you.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:30 pm
by SEG
If you know that it was impossible for the author of Genesis to have imagined the snake was Satan because the concept wasn't invented for another 300 years, why don't you correct ignorant people like Claire and Chappy of their misconceptions? Unless of course you too are just as ignorant of this fact?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:18 pm
Well firstly the dating gap you are treating as a fact depends on theories about dating that are not univerally accepted. If we are talking about the author of the final redaction then that could be close in date to the earliest mentions of Satan in the book of Numbers and if you take the most conservative dating then again that would place the two at around the same time as well.
No, you are confusing the Angel of Yahweh (a servant of God) with Satan his opponent.
But according to some theories of dating there would perhaps be this gap between the story's original telling and a fully developed conceptof Satan. But as I had already indicated in the piece you quote above even if the concept did not exist when Genesis was written it does not mean later believers were mistaken in making that identification, it just means they were applying a contemporary concept to an older story. It is written elsewhere in the Bible. In Revelation the serpent is specificaly identified with Satan and this identification is implied by Paulin the book of Romans. I wasn't dodging something I felt was important.
It can't be the serpent in Revelation as it had 7 heads! I think this would have been mentioned somewhere in the Bible if it were true, as it would be a vital fact. Nowhere in the Bible is there any specific mention of Satan as the serpent in Eden. As stated earlier, the Satan that you know wasn't invented until the Persian conquest when the ancient Israelites were introduced to Zoroastrian beliefs. I know that this is a large slab of text, but I think it is important that you read it all to better understand: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/dai ... ame-satan/
Adam, Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden

Shawna Dolansky June 08, 2019
Introduced as “the most clever of all of the beasts of the field that YHWH God had made,” the serpent in the Garden of Eden is portrayed as just that: a serpent. Satan does not make an appearance in Genesis 2–3, for the simple reason that when the story was written, the concept of the devil had not yet been invented. Explaining the serpent in the Garden of Eden as Satan would have been as foreign a concept to the ancient authors of the text as referring to Ezekiel’s vision as a UFO (but Google “Ezekiel’s vision” now, and you’ll see that plenty of people today have made that connection!). In fact, while the word satan appears elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, it is never a proper name; since there is no devil in ancient Israel’s worldview, there can’t yet have been a proper name for such a creature.

adam-eve-and-the-serpent
Depicted here are God the Father, cherubim, angels, Adam, Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden in Domenichino’s painting The Rebuke of Adam and Eve (1626). Photo: Patrons’ Permanent Fund, National Gallery of Art.

The noun satan, Hebrew for “adversary” or “accuser,” occurs nine times in the Hebrew Bible: five times to describe a human military, political or legal opponent, and four times with reference to a divine being. In Numbers 22, the prophet Balaam, hired to curse the Israelites, is stopped by a messenger from Israel’s God YHWH, described as “the satan” acting on God’s behalf. In Job, “the satan” is a member of God’s heavenly council—one of the divine beings, whose role in Job’s story is to be an “accuser,” a status acquired by people in ancient Israel and Mesopotamia for the purposes of particular legal proceedings. In Job’s case, what’s on trial is God’s assertion that Job is completely “blameless and upright” vs. the satan’s contention that Job only behaves himself because God has rewarded him. God argues that Job is rewarded because he is good, and not good because he is rewarded. The satan challenges God to a wager that if everything is taken away from poor Job, he won’t be so good anymore, and God accepts. Though a perception of “the satan” as Satan would make this portrait of God easier to swallow, the story demonstrates otherwise; like Yahweh’s messenger in Numbers 22, this satan acts on YHWH’s instructions (and as a result of God’s braggadocio) and is not an independent force of evil.

In Zechariah 3, the prophet describes a vision of the high priest Joshua standing in a similar divine council, also functioning as a tribunal. Before him stand YHWH’s messenger and the satan, who is there to accuse him. This vision is Zechariah’s way of pronouncing YHWH’s approval of Joshua’s appointment to the high priesthood in the face of adversarial community members, represented by the satan. The messenger rebukes the satan and orders that Joshua’s dirty clothing be replaced, as he promises Joshua continuing access to the divine council. Once again, the satan is not Satan who we read about in the New Testament.

The word satan appears only once without “the” in front of it in the entire Hebrew Bible: in 1 Chronicles 21:1. Is it possible that we finally have Satan here portrayed? 1 Chronicles 21 parallels the story of David’s census in 2 Samuel 24, in which God orders David to “go number Israel and Judah” and then punishes king and kingdom for doing so. The Chronicler changes this story, as he does others, to portray the relationship between God and David as uncompromised; he writes that “a satan stood up against Israel and he provoked David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:6–7; 27:24). Although it is possible to read “Satan” here instead of “a satan” (Hebrew uses neither uppercase letters, nor indefinite articles, e.g., “a”), nothing else in this story or in any texts for another 300 years indicates that the idea of an evil prince of darkness exists in the consciousness of the Israelites.

In the free eBook Exploring Genesis: The Bible’s Ancient Traditions in Context, discover the cultural contexts for many of Israel’s earliest traditions. Explore Mesopotamian creation myths, Joseph’s relationship with Egyptian temple practices and three different takes on the location of Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham.
So if there’s no Satan in the Hebrew Bible, where does the devil come into the details of Eden?

The worldview of Jewish readers of Genesis 2–3 profoundly changed in the centuries since the story was first written. After the canon of the Hebrew Bible closed,1 beliefs in angels, demons and a final apocalyptic battle arose in a divided and turbulent Jewish community. In light of this impending end, many turned to a renewed understanding of the beginning, and the Garden of Eden was re-read—and re-written—to reflect the changing ideas of a changed world. Two separate things happened and then merged: Satan became the proper name of the devil, a supernatural power now seen to oppose God as the leader of demons and the forces of evil; and the serpent in the Garden of Eden came to be identified with him. While we begin to see the first idea occurring in texts two centuries before the New Testament, the second won’t happen until later; Eden’s serpent is not identified with Satan anywhere in the Hebrew Bible or New Testament.

The concept of the devil begins to appear in second and first centuries B.C.E. Jewish texts. In 1 Enoch, the “angel” who “led Eve astray” and “showed the weapons of death to the children of men” was called Gadreel (not Satan). Around the same time, the Wisdom of Solomon taught that “through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who are on his side suffer it.” Though this may very well be the earliest reference to Eden’s serpent as the devil, in neither text, nor in any document we have until after the New Testament, is satan clearly understood as the serpent in Eden. At Qumran, though, Satan is the leader of the forces of darkness; his power is said to threaten humanity, and it was believed that salvation would bring the absence of Satan and evil.

By the first century C.E., Satan is adopted into the nascent Christian movement, as ruler over a kingdom of darkness, an opponent and deceiver of Jesus (Mark 1:13), prince of the devils and opposing force to God (Luke 11:15–19; Matthew 12:24–27; Mark 3:22–23:26); Jesus’ ministry puts a temporary end to Satan’s reign (Luke 10:18) and the conversion of the gentiles leads them from Satan to God (Acts 26:18). Most famously, Satan endangers the Christian communities but will fall in Christ’s final act of salvation, described in detail in the book of Revelation.

But curiously, although the author of Revelation describes Satan as “the ancient serpent” (Revelation 12:9; 20:2), there is no clear link anywhere in the Bible between Satan and Eden’s talking snake. The ancient Near Eastern combat myth motif, exemplified in the battle between Marduk and Tiamat in Enuma Elish and Baal and Yam/Mot in ancient Canaan, typically depicted the bad guy as a serpent. The characterization of Leviathan in Isaiah 27 reflects such myths nicely:

On that day YHWH will punish
With his hard and big and strong sword
Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
Leviathan the twisted serpent,
And he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.
So the reference in Revelation 12:9 to Satan as “the ancient serpent” probably reflects mythical monsters like Leviathan rather than the clever, legged, talking creature in Eden.

In the New Testament, Satan and his demons have the power to enter and possess people; this is what is said to have happened to Judas (Luke 22:3; John 13:27; cf. Mark 5:12–13; Luke 8:30–32). But when Paul re-tells the story of Adam and Eve, he places the blame on the humans (Romans 5:18; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:21–22) and not on fallen angels, or on the serpent as Satan. Still, the conflation begged to be made, and it will seem natural for later Christian authors—Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaeus and Augustine, for example—to assume Satan’s association with Eden’s talking snake. Most famously, in the 17th century, John Milton elaborates Satan’s role in the Garden poetically, in great detail in Paradise Lost. But this connection is not forged anywhere in the Bible.