God's Wife Asherah

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searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

JTH wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:55 am
@searchengineguy Christianity has strong evidences. More evidence than science can give for its ever-changing statements. All kinds of evidence are still visible to this day about Jesus’ life on earth and his resurrection.
It depends what you mean is strong. Do you think the evidence for Jesus is stronger than gravity for example? If it is, let's see what you have got. There are no eyewitnesses of Jesus and no contemporary documentary evidence of his existence for many decades after his supposed life.
Did u know that eye witnesses don’t tend to live for 2000ish years?!
Especially non-existent eye witnesses
Read this book before u answer further on evidence for Jesus.
Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace
Read about the author first of course .
You mean so you can use the Argument from Authority as he was a policeman? So was I! Have a look at a comprehensive review from a sceptical atheist:
Customer Review
JVib
1.0 out of 5 stars This case would fail in a court of law
January 28, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Wallace starts off with stories of being a homicide detective and begins his narrative of moving from “belief in that” to “belief in”. He was known by his friends as an angry Atheist. I really despise how often Christian apologists use this strawman. It tends to lead Christians to believe that atheist don’t believe because they are “angry” about something (daddy issues, hurt by the church, are just rejecting god because they don’t like authority, they just want to sin, etc.). In reality the majority of atheists don’t believe the claim (made by other human beings) that a god exists due to lack of evidence to support that claim. Wallace goes on about how often he has interviewed eyewitnesses and suspects and how he understands how testimony is evaluated in a court of law. Then he states that he used his skills as an investigator to determine that the book of Mark was actually an eyewitness account of the apostle Peter. WOW! This is a bold and absolutely ridiculous claim right from the start! We have NO original manuscripts of the book of Mark & we have no evidence to determine who wrote the original text. Also the book of mark has been copied and translated by many people since it was originally written. This renders the book of Mark (and the entire bible) hearsay in a court of law. Unfounded, unverifiable claims. The books of the bible cannot be considered to be eyewitness testimony and no court of law would ever accept them as testimony. The bible would be inadmissible.

Wallace then states “If you’re a skeptic who rejects the bible like I did, my experiences and insights might help you to assess the gospel writers in a new light. If you’re someone who has encountered Christians who were unprepared to defend what they believe, I’d like to encourage you to be patient with us because the Christian tradition is actually intellectually robust and satisfying, even if we believers are occasionally unable to respond to your challenges. The answers are available, you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a believer. Yes it is possible to become a Christian because of the evidence rather than inspire of the evidence.” I agree that you don’t have to “turn off your brain to believe”, but you do have to be selective with the evidence/information you choose to seek out. Many things can be considered as evidence and some are better than others. The religious do not seek out all of the evidence and then weigh it out rationally to determine which more closely comports with reality. So, when rational fact based argument are presented they do not have rational evidence based responses.

Wallace moves on to speak of people holding presuppositions which influence beliefs and he claims, “I’ve learned to do my best to enter every investigation with my eyes and mind open to all the reasonable possibilities. I try not to bite on any particular philosophy or theory until one emerges as the most rational, given the evidence….. you simply cannot enter into an investigation with a philosophy that dictates the outcome. Objectivity is paramount.” He also states, “When I was an atheist, I held many presuppositions that tainted the way I investigated the claims of Christianity.” This indicates to me that he me that his lack of belief in the claims humans make about a god existing were based on something other than lack of evidence. Later all he does is contradict his statements as he proves that he is not following the most rational theory based on ALL of the available information/evidence.

Wallace goes on to “Philosophical Naturalism” as a philosophy that detectives hold because they work in the “natural world.” He defines it correctly as: The presupposition belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural forces) operate in the world; philosophical naturalists believe that nothing exists beyond the natural world. I agree with this definition. He then claims that most scientists adhere to this philosophy and because of this they will not consider (refuse to consider) paranormal explanations. What Wallace doesn’t understand is philosophy deals with concepts; it is entirely theoretical. In other words it is a mind exercise only. Most scientists (and skeptics) adhere to “Methodological Naturalism” which is: “A strategy for studying the world, by which scientists choose not to consider supernatural causes, even as a remote possibility because, while it is possible supernatural causes may exist, they are impossible to investigate using any known method. If a supernatural event was able to be investigated, and the cause was able to be determined, it would then fall into the realm of the natural.” Scientists can believe in the supernatural all they like, and many do. However when conducting actual scientific study they have no ability to investigate the supernatural therefor they must test only things which can be tested; i.e. natural causes and if a natural cause cannot be discovered at this time the answer is “we don’t know why” because we humans have no ability to test for the supernatural. If we can’t test for the supernatural, why would we ever assume supernatural causes for events when as yet undiscovered natural causes are more probable? Wallace then goes on to speak of historians also adhering to philosophical naturalism. “…many historians are also committed to a naturalistic presupposition. The majority of historical scholars, for example, accept the historicity of the New Testament gospels, in so far as they describe the life and teaching of Jesus and the condition of the first-century environment in which Jesus lived and ministered. But many of the same historians simultaneously reject the historicity of any of the miracles described in the New Testament, in spite of the fact that these miracles are described alongside the events that scholars accept as historical. Why do they accept some events and reject others? Because they have a presuppositional bias against the supernatural.” While historians may accept that the bible does describe the general life and culture of the time and place fairly accurately (they may also say that the Harry Potter novels describe the general life and culture of England for the time period at the end of the 20th to early 21st century, but that doesn’t make magic real), the majority do not accept the stories of Jesus as accurately recorded history. The bible was not written by historians using the methods of the historians at the time the bible was written. As far as historians not affirming the historical accuracy of the miracle claims in the bible: They cannot accept them as true by the very nature of methods used by historians. Historians do NOT have the ability to verify the factual accuracy any miracle claim. The best a historian can do is record the claim as a claim (examples: Jane Doe claimed she flew like superman to the top of Mount Everest on June 1st 2018.) Mr. Wallace, as a homicide investigator can you simply accept a suspect’s claim that he only killed someone because he was possessed by the devil at that time; and you should be arresting Lucifer based on his claim? Of course not!! This is the same argument you are making regarding scientists and historians. I guess you have the exact same presuppostional bias against the supernatural as all those scientists and historians. Mr. Wallace, show me the evidence that supports the miracle claims in the bible without using the bible itself!!

Wallace states that when he was an atheist he allowed presupposition and that he refused to consider anything but natural causes when considering the claims that a god exists. The problem with this is that it isn’t whether or not you consider anything outside of the “natural” it is about evidence. Based on what I have previously stated, humans have no way of investigating paranormal claims so anyone who claims they have witnessed a supernatural occurrence cannot determine the cause; the best they can do is make an assumption of the cause. However, the honest answer is to simply state “I don’t know what caused the occurrence” until such time we can accurately determine the cause.

Wallace moves on to “abductive reasoning” which is inferring (deduce or conclude from evidence and reason rather than from explicit statements). He then states, “While it’s interesting to imagine the possibilities, it’s important to return eventually to what’s reasonable especially when the truth is at stake.” I fully agree with this statement. But he then goes on to say “…We can apply the process of abduction to our spiritual investigation as well.” Actually, you really can’t without ultimately making a guess at the end, because we have no means of investigating the supernatural. He then goes into an apologetic argument I’ve heard many times: “How do we explain the empty tomb.” He gives 4 “Facts”, which are absolutely not proven facts, to begin his argument: Jesus died on a cross and was buried; the tomb was empty and no one produced a body; the disciples believed they saw Jesus after; the disciples believed Jesus was resurrected. These are unverified claims made in the bible and not one of them is supported by any valid extra-biblical sources. These cannot be considered fact because they have not been proven to be fact. Here is what we actually do know: At some point in the early 1st century (roughly 66-70 AD) some unknown men (or a man), who were not historians using the methods of historians of the time, wrote down some stories about an apocalyptic preacher named Jesus who lived in the country of Israel from approximately 4 BC to 33 AD. These stories include many paranormal claims. That is all of the actual evidence we have. Wallace is including MANY presuppositions into his investigation when he previously claimed he was trying to remove presuppositions. The evidence we have points more to: The stories that were written down where partially or completely inaccurate. (We have no valid evidence of anything supernatural.) We can provided countless examples of people writing down things that are factually inaccurate (some intentional some unintentional). Just look at all holy writings (with supernatural claims) outside of the bible. I’m sure Wallace would not accept those to be true based on the criteria he has provided.

At this point Wallace goes into a list of standard apologetics arguments. He obviously isn’t the unbiased investigator he claims to be because he never mentions the more logical responses to these questions. (1) How the universe began: Wallace used the standard argument from ignorance fallacy called “the god of the gaps.” I don’t know the cause therefore god did it. The real answer is “We (human kind) do not current know the answer to this question.” No one knows and no one has ever known up to this point. So Mr. Wallace should stop pretending to know things that he doesn’t know. In addition to prove your hypothesis your first step is to demonstrate that your god exists. (2) The universe was designed. Again another argument from ignorance. I don’t understand the complexities of the universe therefore god did it. (3) How did life begin? Another argument from ignorance. I don’t understand how life could have begun therefore god. (4) I don’t understand the diversity of life on this planet, therefore god did it. Nope. We (human kind) does understand this process. All Mr. Wallace had to do was borrow a good science book on evolution from the library to get the answer to this one. (5) DNA is a code. Yet another argument from ignorance. DNA is complicate therefore god. DNA is not a code. Scientists use this term loosely to help laypeople understand. DNA is a group of physical and chemical reactions. It is not a language used to communicate between two minds. Ultimately We (human kind) do not have a full understanding of how DND developed but we are working on discovering the answer. (6) Objective Morality. Nope, all morality is subjective on a personal (each “mind) level and it can be somewhat objective at a societal level (we enact laws and associated punishments based on consensus of what is harmful to humans and society). Even if there is a god there is no objective morality as morality would be based on god’s subjective opinion. (7) The bible can be considered eye witness testimony. This one is ridiculously wrong, especially coming from someone who was a police officer. The bible is a big book of claims; claims which must be demonstrated to be true. IT IS NOT EVIDENCE! Using the bible to prove the claims of the bible is circular reasoning. If you can use this method to prove the bible is factually accurate than you can use the same method to prove every holy book that has ever existed to be factually accurate. (8) Martyrdom of the Apostles: First Wallace has to prove that these Martyrdom stories are factually accurate, but even if he does; people will willingly go to their deaths for what they believe. This happens often. I’ll give one example: The Tank Man from Tiananmen Square. He was willing to be run over by a tank for his socio political beliefs.

The remainder of the book Wallace covered a few extra-biblical texts which in some vague way “kind of” mentioned Jesus. However some of these have been demonstrated to be forgeries (Flavius Josephus for example), some are written well after the events so were not firsthand accounts, & others are not direct references. He then he writes quite a bit where he attempts to use the bible (specifically the new testament) to try to prove the bible is accurate (circular reasoning) but fails horribly.

I could go on with this review but I will sum up by stating that I see many elements in this book which I have found in many other Christian apologetics books. This book is one huge appeal to authority (I’m a homicide detective and a police officer. I’m a subject matter expert in investigation and I’m non-biased so you can trust me to tell you the truth and to do a full and complete investigation without any presuppositions.) I did see many of the standard logical fallacies that apologists use, which wasn’t surprising. Even though the author claims to have been and “angry atheist” prior to converting to Christianity; he obviously did not write this book for skeptics, atheists or people who adhere to other religious beliefs because none of these people would find any of the information convincing. This type of book is written as Christian propaganda for Christian believers to bolster their ”faith.”
You believe in science that basically says “everything came out of nothing” - now that is a fairy tale!
I don't believe that btw, and neither do most atheists that I know.
But if u don’t believe in a God who’s the creator, what is ur stance on existence then?
A multiverse with infinite universes seems plausible to me.
“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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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:10 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:15 pm
First of all I want to note that you have once again done something that you do quite often.
You are being hypocritical here. What you do quite often is ignore my poignant questions (like what is your evidence for any gods existing?) and usually switch to referring me to some dusty old Christian book that doesn't interest me in the slightest.
I have explained on many occasions that I am not an evidentialist. This is not to say I think evidence is neverimportant but that I do not think it is the only valid route to knowledge. This is something we could discuss further if you wish but maybe ina seperate thread. Given that I do not think metaphysical questions can be answered by an examination of supposed evidence then I would be a betrayal of my position to provide supposed evidence in response to your repeated demands. We would need to settle the epistemological issues first; that is you would have to prove or at least make a case that either evidence is the only valid route to knowledge or that it is necessary in the specific case of god beliefs. The book I refer you to tend not to be Christian books but standardworks in fields you seem to know little about. Read them or not as you wish.
You argued that because Christians have many different opinions Christianity must be subjective.
Incorrect. My argument was that because of the 45,000 denominations of Christianity all having different opinions on how to interpret "God's word" that it must be entirely subjective - which it clearly is. Especially if members of the same church can't agree on basic tenets.
This is a special case of what I said. You are assuming without either evidence or argument that all denominational differences are differences about the interpretation of scripture. Most are not and have come about for complex historical reasons. Some are and people continue to explore those differences and are often able to reach agreement. But as long as people are discussing these things and change their views as a consequence of these discussions therecan be no grounds for saying the matter is purely subjective.
I countered this by giving examples of other spheres where there are different opinions where you are not drawing that conclusion. Instead of admitting the failure of your argument or trying to defend it you simply switch to a new argument, in this case one that is not your own.
Oh wot crud! Here's how it went:
Moonwood the Hare wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:21 pm
So, would you therefore conclude that scienceis entirely subjective with no external referent?
I gave this very concise answer that you refused to answer:
No, scientific results should be objective, regardless of who conducts the experiment. Science doesn't need a god for an external referent. Science changes when new knowledge is brought forward, tested and if the results are repeatable, we accept it as being true, replacing the old knowledge. Religion doesn't work that way. New knowledge is frowned upon and your Bible can't ever be wrong.
I did in fact respond to this. The problem is that you have given an idealised description of science that is at odds with the facts. The point is that if you use the differences of opinion regarding God to argue that there is no God (no external referent) then on the same no token you would have to argue there is no external referent for science, so no objective reality.
In the past you have always argued that morality is subjective; have you changed your mind and become an objectivist or do you not actually agree with this part of the argument.
I DO agree with it
Okay, your argument is that morality is objective. Can you give an example of a moral object? I can see that the thing morality is about, people and their behaviour are objective and I can see that statements about how we should behave exist as objects but I cannot see moral directives as objects. Could you claify in what way they are or what is that you think is objective with refeence to morals.
Aren't you arguing that morality is objective and comes from your gods?
No.
In short, subjectivism is the notion that an idea is true or an action is moral because someone or some group says so.
No, it isn't. The statement that something is true is secondary to the experience of it as true whether by the group or individual.
Sorry, I don't agree. How do you know it's moral or immoral if someone doesn't tell you it is?
You are conflating two things that are quite different: believing something that someone tells you and believing something because someone tells you. I was talking about the definition of subjectivism given here. It is that subjectivism is believing something because someone says so. It isn't. Subjectivism is believing something without an external referent. Now statements in language are objective, not subjective. So either the cat sat on the mat or it didn't, and either someone said the cat sat on the mat or they didn't. Both the statement and the cat are out there in the objective world.
With that in mind, what does religion say about the source of truth and morality?
many things. You cannot treat all religion as homogenous in this way.
Yes, but I think she was talking holistically.
No idea what this means.
Religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience.
No. Religion cannot be that as there are non-theistic religions.
Again, I'd think that you would agree that idea is generally the case.
I'd agree it is sometimes the case.
He is alleged to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being who is the creator of the universe, the source of all truth, and the maker of moral law. According to religion, if God says something is true or right or good, then it is—by virtue of the fact that he said so.
This is another misunderstanding. The Ochamites say this but that is one possible view. Here is an alternative: God creates a cosmos and within that cosmos there are human beings. They are ways of human functioning that are optimal and ways that are not. You will notice that this second claim, which has always been part of natural law theory, is quite similar to what Rand says. We can reverse engineer this optimal behaviour or in some instances God can tell us what it is, but in no case it it simply a matter of being the case because God says so. That is like saying the manufacturer's instructions for a machine are simply arbitrary fiats.
You're stretching a long bow there. Ask most Christians whether it is arbitrary if God says something is true or right or good and there are good arguments where God is wrong. I've never heard a Christian doubt the word of God - unless his faith is smashed. Can you think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
Again, you are conflating two things that are really distinct: saying something is true because God says so and saying something that God says is true.
In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)
And now we see a profound problem with this kind of objectivism, its failure to comprehend the views of the other. A theist may say just accept this or he may present a case, which you can accept or reject. There is just no way he is bound to say 'believe this because I say so' nor is it the case that the theist believes because he himself says a thing is true. No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted.
You are arguing for me here.
No idea why you think so. Please explain.
None of this is to say that people don’t have a right to be religious. They do. People are (or should be) free to believe in God and to practice their religion—as long as they do not enact any religious laws or commandments that call for murder, rape, or other rights violations.
Isn't he generous!
I would go further and get them to stay away from kids and swaying government on the basis of their silly "holy" instructions.
Yes but we know you are ignorant and apathetic politically and so have no alternatives to offer. If a Christian enters into the political arena the question is whether they can make a persuasive case for their position. If they are making that case to people who do not share their religious beliefs they may still be able to make a good case on other grounds even if some bigots reject what they say because they or some associate is Christian.
Where is your proof that God exists?
No you have leapt to the assumption that we can only have grounds to believe what we can prove. That is not only false but it has been proved to be false (in 1929).
In the 5 or so years that we have spoken hear, you have never presented any evidence or even any reasons why you believe in the existence of God. Is it really that embarrassing?
I have on many occasions told you my reasons for believing which are that this is what I experience as true. They are the same reasons as those I have for my belief that there is an external world or that one plus one equals two.
You and other Christians here DO believe on faith alone, even despite evidence to the contrary.
This is assertion not argument.
I can trawl up evidence where this is the case, but there is no point. You will believe in your faith no matter what I say. I am a lot more open minded than that. Give me some verifiable evidence of ANY god from any era of man's existence and I will get down on my knees and pray my head off.
We can only verify within an existing framework. That is how verification works. There is no position outside all the positions from which we can verify metaphysical claims. Hence I can tell you what to do if you want to know whether there is a God but I cannot prove that there is a God.
No. We have discussed all this before. You find it impossible to reflect what Christians believe without adding your own distorted interpretations. When you can present what we believe as we believe it you will be ready to criticise it. Again I encourage you to read that essay by Rogers.
And I encourage you to read all of Carrier's books.
SEG, I am suggesting you read a short essay by one of the most important and influential thinkers of the last couple of centuries. If you don't want to bother, don't bother.
It depends whether you think that your religion was subject to religious syncretism or not. I think that there is clear evidence that it was, what do you say?
I say you had better begin by explaining what you mean by syncretism.
Read all about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_syncretism
I want to know what you mean by the term youare using not what someone else says it means. But if I accept this very broad definition of course Christianity was subject to religious syncretism. Now what?
The point would be to compare two ideas or behaviour sets. Language does not work in the way you assume it does. People don't put everything into clear forms that exclude possible misunderstandings at times in the unspecified future. If they did it is doubtful their contemporaries would understand them
If that's the case, what's the point of paying any attention to the Bible at all if you don't understand what people in those days thought or believed in?
If we want to understand what people mean, whether in the past or the present, we have to be able to step over into their reality. If we can't do that or won't do that and insist on interpreting everything in our own narrowly defined terms then we will never understand and never learn. So, we can understand in so far as we can reconstruct or decode what they are saying and that can become the basis for developing our own understanding.
Okay, so your argument is that the scribes that transmitted the scriptures were Christians and therefore distorting its message.
Not just Christian scribes.
I think you are saying this was a deliberate conspiracy of some kind.
Absolutely! Don't you think that there was political and theological control over what was written and preserved? If you don't you are very naive.
That is not the same as saying there was a conspiracy to distort the transmission of the texts.
Do you have evidence to support that claim rather than a more general claim that scribes tend to interpret a text in terms of what they think it likely to say, which would apply in the other cases where you say it wouldn't.
Back atcher - Read most of Bart Ehrman's books on this subject.
So if you have read these works them I am simply asking for a single example where a conspiracy, rather than an understanding in terms of expectations, has been proved. That should not be difficult if the examples exist.
You're not saying that animists didn't believe in lots of gods are you?
I am saying animism is distinct from polytheism which was the term you used. Go back and take another look at Tyler.
I know it is distinct from polytheism, but both include belief in many gods.
Not really. Animists don't necessarily believe in gods at all though animism could exist alongside god beliefs. And as you said later polytheism emerged from earlier polytheism that claim is irrelevant. And to make it clear I think Tyler's views are not tenable but if you are going to make a case for that kind of position you do need to understand it.
Yes, Animists don't necessarily believe in lots of gods and spirits (aren't they the same thing?), but mostly they did. Even in Daniel, the people worshiped "the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone" (Daniel 5:4).
According to Tyler who coined the term the spirits animists believe in are not the same as the gods of polytheism. Tyler clearly thinks there are two different belief types.

searchengineguy
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:26 pm

Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

searchengineguy wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:04 pm
Hey Moon, would you agree that of the millions of gods that man has created, every single one of them has changed? Even your god?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:13 pm
Even if this were true how could anyone know. You are talking about changes in a concept but how do you distinguish between changes that happen but mean the concept is still essentially the same and changes that mean there is now a different concept. Take Aristotle's concept of an unmoved mover, assuming you accept that is a concept of God or of a god then that concept as a concept has remained unchanged over millennia. But is its adaptation to the Christian God by Aquinas a change in the concept or the creation of a new concept. The question you are asking seems meaningless to me.
Any being that has existed or is imagined to have existed changed. All these gods (including yours) changed by doing things. They walked, they talked, they regretted, they killed, they created. Agreed?

If you say that your god can't change (is immutable) then ipso facto it CAN'T exist. Even if this were true (that God is immutable), how could anyone know? Also if a god can't change, that alters it's omnipotence and free will.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

searchengineguy
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:26 pm

Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:12 pm
I have explained on many occasions that I am not an evidentialist.
How convenient!
So you don't need any silly evidence, to believe that gods exist, you just "know" from studying the epistemology.[/quote]
The book I refer you to tend not to be Christian books but standardworks in fields you seem to know little about. Read them or not as you wish.
You mean like Carrier's works?
You argued that because Christians have many different opinions Christianity must be subjective.
Incorrect. My argument was that because of the 45,000 denominations of Christianity all having different opinions on how to interpret "God's word" that it must be entirely subjective - which it clearly is. Especially if members of the same church can't agree on basic tenets.
This is a special case of what I said. You are assuming without either evidence or argument that all denominational differences are differences about the interpretation of scripture. Most are not and have come about for complex historical reasons. Some are and people continue to explore those differences and are often able to reach agreement. But as long as people are discussing these things and change their views as a consequence of these discussions therecan be no grounds for saying the matter is purely subjective.
It could only be objective if it is free of any biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings. Otherwise it remains subjective.
Here's how it went:
I gave this very concise answer that you refused to answer:
No, scientific results should be objective, regardless of who conducts the experiment. Science doesn't need a god for an external referent. Science changes when new knowledge is brought forward, tested and if the results are repeatable, we accept it as being true, replacing the old knowledge. Religion doesn't work that way. New knowledge is frowned upon and your Bible can't ever be wrong.
I did in fact respond to this. The problem is that you have given an idealised description of science that is at odds with the facts. The point is that if you use the differences of opinion regarding God to argue that there is no God (no external referent) then on the same no token you would have to argue there is no external referent for science, so no objective reality.
The external referent for the scientific method are the laws and evidence that it draws from. Where do the denominations draw their external referent? It can't be the Bible, as many of them have their own versions. Where does your god in fact draw his external referent? Does he command himself to obey his own laws?
In the past you have always argued that morality is subjective; have you changed your mind and become an objectivist or do you not actually agree with this part of the argument.
I DO agree with it
Okay, your argument is that morality is objective. Can you give an example of a moral object?
No, I agree with the part of the argument that says that "Many people regard religion as the opposite of, and the antidote to, subjectivism. In fact, however, religion is a form of subjectivism. Indeed, it is the most extreme form of all."
Aren't you arguing that morality is objective and comes from your gods?
No.
Cool, so at last we agree!
In short, subjectivism is the notion that an idea is true or an action is moral because someone or some group says so.
No, it isn't. The statement that something is true is secondary to the experience of it as true whether by the group or individual.
But aren't those experiences themselves subjective?
Sorry, I don't agree. How do you know it's moral or immoral if someone doesn't tell you it is?
You are conflating two things that are quite different: believing something that someone tells you and believing something because someone tells you. I was talking about the definition of subjectivism given here. It is that subjectivism is believing something because someone says so. It isn't. Subjectivism is believing something without an external referent. Now statements in language are objective, not subjective. So either the cat sat on the mat or it didn't, and either someone said the cat sat on the mat or they didn't. Both the statement and the cat are out there in the objective world.
I think that you are talking about Solipsism here, not Subjectivism. There is no external or objective truth in Subjectivism.
With that in mind, what does religion say about the source of truth and morality?
many things. You cannot treat all religion as homogenous in this way.
Yes, but I think she was talking holistically.
No idea what this means.
In a general sense.
Religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience.
No. Religion cannot be that as there are non-theistic religions.
Again, I'd think that you would agree that idea is generally the case.
I'd agree it is sometimes the case.
I was talking about in the case of religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience.
He is alleged to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being who is the creator of the universe, the source of all truth, and the maker of moral law. According to religion, if God says something is true or right or good, then it is—by virtue of the fact that he said so.
This is another misunderstanding. The Ochamites say this but that is one possible view. Here is an alternative: God creates a cosmos and within that cosmos there are human beings. They are ways of human functioning that are optimal and ways that are not. You will notice that this second claim, which has always been part of natural law theory, is quite similar to what Rand says. We can reverse engineer this optimal behaviour or in some instances God can tell us what it is, but in no case it it simply a matter of being the case because God says so. That is like saying the manufacturer's instructions for a machine are simply arbitrary fiats.
You're stretching a long bow there. Ask most Christians whether it is arbitrary if God says something is true or right or good and there are good arguments where God is wrong. I've never heard a Christian doubt the word of God - unless his faith is smashed. Can you think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
Again, you are conflating two things that are really distinct: saying something is true because God says so and saying something that God says is true.
So you can't think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)
And now we see a profound problem with this kind of objectivism, its failure to comprehend the views of the other. A theist may say just accept this or he may present a case, which you can accept or reject. There is just no way he is bound to say 'believe this because I say so' nor is it the case that the theist believes because he himself says a thing is true. No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted.
You are arguing for me here.[/quote]
No idea why you think so. Please explain.
You could apply this line of thinking to the so called objective moral commands of God. "No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted."
None of this is to say that people don’t have a right to be religious. They do. People are (or should be) free to believe in God and to practice their religion—as long as they do not enact any religious laws or commandments that call for murder, rape, or other rights violations.
Isn't he generous!
I would go further and get them to stay away from kids and swaying government on the basis of their silly "holy" instructions.
If a Christian enters into the political arena the question is whether they can make a persuasive case for their position.
I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with them pushing their biases based on their religious imaginings.
If they are making that case to people who do not share their religious beliefs they may still be able to make a good case on other grounds even if some bigots reject what they say because they or some associate is Christian.
Religion should keep out of politics and politicians should be inclusive of all beliefs or lack of beliefs. To argue otherwise would open up our governments to a self serving theocracy.
Where is your proof that God exists?
No you have leapt to the assumption that we can only have grounds to believe what we can prove. That is not only false but it has been proved to be false (in 1929).
The scientific method is the best mechanism for delivering the truth that we have atm.
In the 5 or so years that we have spoken here, you have never presented any evidence or even any reasons why you believe in the existence of God. Is it really that embarrassing?
I have on many occasions told you my reasons for believing which are that this is what I experience as true. They are the same reasons as those I have for my belief that there is an external world or that one plus one equals two.
That's incongruous, there is no objective evidence for an external world (whatever THAT means) and plenty of objective evidence of one plus one equals two. Your religious experiences are subjective, just like all the Christian denominations and beliefs.
You and other Christians here DO believe on faith alone, even despite evidence to the contrary.
This is assertion not argument.
I can trawl up evidence where this is the case, but there is no point. You will believe in your faith no matter what I say. I am a lot more open minded than that. Give me some verifiable evidence of ANY god from any era of man's existence and I will get down on my knees and pray my head off.
We can only verify within an existing framework. That is how verification works. There is no position outside all the positions from which we can verify metaphysical claims. Hence I can tell you what to do if you want to know whether there is a God but I cannot prove that there is a God.
Then why should I be interested at all if you can't verify your claims?
No. We have discussed all this before. You find it impossible to reflect what Christians believe without adding your own distorted interpretations. When you can present what we believe as we believe it you will be ready to criticise it. Again I encourage you to read that essay by Rogers.
And I encourage you to read all of Carrier's books.[/quote]
SEG, I am suggesting you read a short essay by one of the most important and influential thinkers of the last couple of centuries.
Me too.
It depends whether you think that your religion was subject to religious syncretism or not. I think that there is clear evidence that it was, what do you say?
I say you had better begin by explaining what you mean by syncretism.
I want to know what you mean by the term youare using not what someone else says it means. But if I accept this very broad definition of course Christianity was subject to religious syncretism. Now what?
Now you should accept that Christianity was cobbled from Judaism and local mystery religions, which were cobbled from local Canaanite and other pagan religions.
The point would be to compare two ideas or behaviour sets. Language does not work in the way you assume it does. People don't put everything into clear forms that exclude possible misunderstandings at times in the unspecified future. If they did it is doubtful their contemporaries would understand them
If that's the case, what's the point of paying any attention to the Bible at all if you don't understand what people in those days thought or believed in?
If we want to understand what people mean, whether in the past or the present, we have to be able to step over into their reality. If we can't do that or won't do that and insist on interpreting everything in our own narrowly defined terms then we will never understand and never learn. So, we can understand in so far as we can reconstruct or decode what they are saying and that can become the basis for developing our own understanding.

So when he supposedly said, "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods,..." you believe that he didn't think the other gods were real?
IOW he thought that God was greater than..nothing? Or greater than actual gods which were in reality really false? This really doesn't make any sense.
Okay, so your argument is that the scribes that transmitted the scriptures were Christians and therefore distorting its message.
Not just Christian scribes.
I think you are saying this was a deliberate conspiracy of some kind.
Absolutely! Don't you think that there was political and theological control over what was written and preserved? If you don't you are very naive.
That is not the same as saying there was a conspiracy to distort the transmission of the texts.
What other reason could there be to actively destroy and manipulate the texts? Or don't you believe that this was the case?
Do you have evidence to support that claim rather than a more general claim that scribes tend to interpret a text in terms of what they think it likely to say, which would apply in the other cases where you say it wouldn't.
Back atcher - Read most of Bart Ehrman's books on this subject.
So if you have read these works them I am simply asking for a single example where a conspiracy, rather than an understanding in terms of expectations, has been proved. That should not be difficult if the examples exist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
After the First Council of Nicea (325 CE), Roman emperor Constantine the Great issued an edict against nontrinitarian Arians which included a prescription for systematic book-burning:

"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offense, he shall be submitted for capital punishment....."[3]

According to Elaine Pagels, "In AD 367, Athanasius, the zealous bishop of Alexandria... issued an Easter letter in which he demanded that Egyptian monks destroy all such unacceptable writings, except for those he specifically listed as 'acceptable' even 'canonical'—a list that constitutes the present 'New Testament'".[4] (Pagels cites Athanasius's Paschal letter (letter 39) for 367 CE, which prescribes a canon but does not explicitly order monks to destroy excluded works.[5]) Heretical texts do not turn up as palimpsests, scraped clean and overwritten, as do many texts of Classical antiquity. According to author Rebecca Knuth, multitudes of early Christian texts have been as thoroughly "destroyed" as if they had been publicly burnt.
Also read: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible And Why
You're not saying that animists didn't believe in lots of gods are you?
I am saying animism is distinct from polytheism which was the term you used. Go back and take another look at Tyler.
I know it is distinct from polytheism, but both include belief in many gods.
Not really. Animists don't necessarily believe in gods at all though animism could exist alongside god beliefs. And as you said later polytheism emerged from earlier polytheism that claim is irrelevant. And to make it clear I think Tyler's views are not tenable but if you are going to make a case for that kind of position you do need to understand it.
Yes, Animists don't necessarily believe in lots of gods and spirits (aren't they the same thing?), but mostly they did. Even in Daniel, the people worshiped "the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone" (Daniel 5:4).
According to Tyler who coined the term the spirits animists believe in are not the same as the gods of polytheism. Tyler clearly thinks there are two different belief types.
Spirits, Gods, Ghosts - they mean the same to me. As I have said previously, what your god and all the other gods, spirits, ghosts etc have in common is a lack of evidence. That should tell you something.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

JTH
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by JTH »

Read this book before u answer further on evidence for Jesus.
Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace
Read about the author first of course .
You mean so you can use the Argument from Authority as he was a policeman? So was I! Have a look at a comprehensive review from a sceptical atheist:
Wow! U tend to jump into conclusions, don’t u?!

I referred the book thinking u genuinely were interested in evidence. The author sought after evidence and so I thought u’d relate. Now that u mentioned that u used to be a cop, u should be able to understand much better than most others do.

Would u refuse to go to a 4.7/5.0 rated restaurant based on 1.0/5.0 star ratings??

If not, I’ll say again —>
Read this book before u answer further on evidence for Jesus.
Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace
Read about the author first of course .

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

JTH wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:01 am
Wow! U tend to jump into conclusions, don’t u?!
Only because I know that the evidence for Jesus is extremely poor. I've read Christian books after being assured that they have very good evidence for Jesus and have been bitterly disappointed. Lee Strobel's Case for Christ for example was a terrible book and it looks like this book is no better if a supposed detective calls the gospel stories eye witness accounts.
I referred the book thinking u genuinely were interested in evidence. The author sought after evidence and so I thought u’d relate. Now that u mentioned that u used to be a cop, u should be able to understand much better than most others do.
I do. Cops should know what an eyewitness account is. Who were the eyewitnesses of Jesus? There are none as far as I know. There are only STORIES of eyewitnesses, which any cop would realise that this isn't acceptable as evidence. As the reviewer said, "(7) The bible can be considered eye witness testimony. This one is ridiculously wrong, especially coming from someone who was a police officer."
Would u refuse to go to a 4.7/5.0 rated restaurant based on 1.0/5.0 star ratings??
No, but I would rate the so called evidence of Jesus less than 1 star.
If not, I’ll say again —>
Read this book before u answer further on evidence for Jesus.
Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace
Read about the author first of course .
I downloaded a PDF version of it. Care to review it with me chapter by chapter? Please answer my question first: Who were the eyewitnesses of Jesus?
“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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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:39 pm
searchengineguy wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:04 pm
Hey Moon, would you agree that of the millions of gods that man has created, every single one of them has changed? Even your god?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:13 pm
Even if this were true how could anyone know. You are talking about changes in a concept but how do you distinguish between changes that happen but mean the concept is still essentially the same and changes that mean there is now a different concept. Take Aristotle's concept of an unmoved mover, assuming you accept that is a concept of God or of a god then that concept as a concept has remained unchanged over millennia. But is its adaptation to the Christian God by Aquinas a change in the concept or the creation of a new concept. The question you are asking seems meaningless to me.
Any being that has existed or is imagined to have existed changed. All these gods (including yours) changed by doing things. They walked, they talked, they regretted, they killed, they created. Agreed?

If you say that your god can't change (is immutable) then ipso facto it CAN'T exist. Even if this were true (that God is immutable), how could anyone know? Also if a god can't change, that alters it's omnipotence and free will.
I think I musunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying that the concepts of god had changed over time but you are not saying that you are saying that the concepts themselves depict change. Curiously the example I have given Aristotle's unmoved mover is a concept of something unchanging by definition. So we do know that there is at least once concept of a god not subject to change.

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:05 pm
searchengineguy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:39 pm
searchengineguy wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:04 pm
Hey Moon, would you agree that of the millions of gods that man has created, every single one of them has changed? Even your god?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:13 pm
Even if this were true how could anyone know. You are talking about changes in a concept but how do you distinguish between changes that happen but mean the concept is still essentially the same and changes that mean there is now a different concept. Take Aristotle's concept of an unmoved mover, assuming you accept that is a concept of God or of a god then that concept as a concept has remained unchanged over millennia. But is its adaptation to the Christian God by Aquinas a change in the concept or the creation of a new concept. The question you are asking seems meaningless to me.
Any being that has existed or is imagined to have existed changed. All these gods (including yours) changed by doing things. They walked, they talked, they regretted, they killed, they created. Agreed?

If you say that your god can't change (is immutable) then ipso facto it CAN'T exist. Even if this were true (that God is immutable), how could anyone know? Also if a god can't change, that alters it's omnipotence and free will.
I think I musunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying that the concepts of god had changed over time but you are not saying that you are saying that the concepts themselves depict change. Curiously the example I have given Aristotle's unmoved mover is a concept of something unchanging by definition. So we do know that there is at least once concept of a god not subject to change.
This unmoved mover must have had a need to change for the first cause to happen. A perfect being would have no such need. Yet we are here. You would have to admit now that your god is not perfect and had a need to change. Which also means that your immutable god cannot exist.
“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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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:55 am
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:12 pm
I have explained on many occasions that I am not an evidentialist.
How convenient!
So you don't need any silly evidence, to believe that gods exist, you just "know" from studying the epistemology.
No. There are two views on epistemology. One,that advocated by Descartes is that epistemology is something we have to do so we can know. The majority of new athesists seem to opt for this approach. The street epistemologists are a good example. They get people to question their ways of knowing in the hope that they will abandon themand adopt the correct ways which will lead to atheism. However there is an alternative view advocated by Wittgenstein that epistemology is not what we do so we can know but a reflection on what we have done when we have known. So, Wittgenstein says that saying we have to know how we know before we can know anything is like saying we have to be able to spell the word spelling before we can spell any other word. I side with Wittgenstein; we have to examine what we have done that we have called knowing not try to invent new and more certain ways to know which cast all our previous knowing into doubt.
The book I refer you to tend not to be Christian books but standardworks in fields you seem to know little about. Read them or not as you wish.
You mean like Carrier's works?
I'm afraid Carrier's writings are not generally regarded as standard works. He is seen as a bit of an outlier. That could change of course.
It could only be objective if it is free of any biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings. Otherwise it remains subjective.
But, how can you know that something is free of these things? Unless you have some objective system of determining whether things have biases etc then would the claim not itself be subjective. It would have to be as long as it is maintained that everything must be either subjective or objective and cannot be borh.
The external referent for the scientific method are the laws and evidence that it draws from.
The external referrent for science cannot be scientific laws because those laws are themselves part of science and are not external to it. The phenomena which the laws describe are the external referrent not the laws. It is asumed that the laws of science are universal in scope, that is they describe universal phenomena. The evidence these laws are derived from cannot be universal. I would sugest then that it is best to think of the evidence supporting a theory as internal to that theory and not external.
Where do the denominations draw their external referent? It can't be the Bible, as many of them have their own versions.
The external referrent would be God or God's actions. My point was that diversity of ideas about auch a referrent cannot be grounds for denying its existence because that would lead to a denial of the exixtence of anything about which there are a diversity of ideas.
Where does your god in fact draw his external referent? Does he command himself to obey his own laws?
He covenants to obey his own laws.
No, I agree with the part of the argument that says that "Many people regard religion as the opposite of, and the antidote to, subjectivism. In fact, however, religion is a form of subjectivism. Indeed, it is the most extreme form of all."
That is the conclusion of the argument. He presents it near the beginning and then makes a case for it. So what you are saying is that you agree with the author's conclusion but not the argument that leads to that conclusion. I would strongly encourage you to read things carefully and check that you actually agree with the argument before you post them, rather than just posting anything because you like the conclusion.
Aren't you arguing that morality is objective and comes from your gods?
No.
Cool, so at last we agree!
Not really. I have told you may times that I think morals are directive not objective and you always forget I have said that and start arguing as if I had said morals were objective.
In short, subjectivism is the notion that an idea is true or an action is moral because someone or some group says so.
No, it isn't. The statement that something is true is secondary to the experience of it as true whether by the group or individual.
But aren't those experiences themselves subjective?
Yes, that's the whole point.
Sorry, I don't agree. How do you know it's moral or immoral if someone doesn't tell you it is?
You are conflating two things that are quite different: believing something that someone tells you and believing something because someone tells you. I was talking about the definition of subjectivism given here. It is that subjectivism is believing something because someone says so. It isn't. Subjectivism is believing something without an external referent. Now statements in language are objective, not subjective. So either the cat sat on the mat or it didn't, and either someone said the cat sat on the mat or they didn't. Both the statement and the cat are out there in the objective world.
I think that you are talking about Solipsism here, not Subjectivism. There is no external or objective truth in Subjectivism.
There are different forms of solipsism but generally a solipsist is saying there is no external reality or no way of knwing whether there is an external reality whereas the subjectivist is saying our knowledge of that world whether it exists or not is subjective. So a subjectivist may believe there is an external truth but not believe he has access to it.
With that in mind, what does religion say about the source of truth and morality?
many things. You cannot treat all religion as homogenous in this way.
Yes, but I think she was talking holistically.
No idea what this means.
In a general sense.
The problem is that this is distorting what indviduals say in order to deal with everyone in terms of this vague generalisation.
I was talking about in the case of religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience.
You may have been. The author was over generalising and trying to force all religion into his schema.
He is alleged to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being who is the creator of the universe, the source of all truth, and the maker of moral law. According to religion, if God says something is true or right or good, then it is—by virtue of the fact that he said so.
This is another misunderstanding. The Ochamites say this but that is one possible view. Here is an alternative: God creates a cosmos and within that cosmos there are human beings. They are ways of human functioning that are optimal and ways that are not. You will notice that this second claim, which has always been part of natural law theory, is quite similar to what Rand says. We can reverse engineer this optimal behaviour or in some instances God can tell us what it is, but in no case it it simply a matter of being the case because God says so. That is like saying the manufacturer's instructions for a machine are simply arbitrary fiats.
You're stretching a long bow there. Ask most Christians whether it is arbitrary if God says something is true or right or good and there are good arguments where God is wrong. I've never heard a Christian doubt the word of God - unless his faith is smashed. Can you think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
Again, you are conflating two things that are really distinct: saying something is true because God says so and saying something that God says is true.
So you can't think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
At this point I just cannot see how anything you are saying relates to anything I have said. There is obviously a misunderstanding but I cannot see what it is or whose it is.
In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)
And now we see a profound problem with this kind of objectivism, its failure to comprehend the views of the other. A theist may say just accept this or he may present a case, which you can accept or reject. There is just no way he is bound to say 'believe this because I say so' nor is it the case that the theist believes because he himself says a thing is true. No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted.
You are arguing for me here.
No idea why you think so. Please explain.
You could apply this line of thinking to the so called objective moral commands of God. "No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted."
But as I said that is not true. The problem is that the writer was saying that a belief that "God exists and his word is true" must be based on mere assertion but he has not shown why this is so and why it could never be based on argument or experience.
Religion should keep out of politics and politicians should be inclusive of all beliefs or lack of beliefs. To argue otherwise would open up our governments to a self serving theocracy.
You seem to be saying both that religion should be excluded from politics and included. You can't keep religion out of politics and include all beliefs.
The scientific method is the best mechanism for delivering the truth that we have atm.
There is so much wrong with this claim it is hard to know where to start. Lets start with this.
1.I am quite sure I am sitting on a chair. I have not used the scientific method to know that. I cannot see how any use of the scientific method could make me more sure or more justified in being sure. Therefore I seem to have a method that is better than the scientific method.
2. You often use the term mechanism when it would be more precise to say algorithm, and I assume that this is how you are using the word mechanism here. But the scientific method gives no such mechanism or algorithm whereby you can put in facts or observations and come out with truth.
3. It is debatable whether there is any single thing that we can call the scientific method. There are a range of methods that are used sucesfully in different contexts but when people try to formulate a generalisation and say this is the method then there is little agreement. Hence we have had a whole series of philosophers saying the scientific method is this or that and no agreement on which is right.
That's incongruous, there is no objective evidence for an external world (whatever THAT means) and plenty of objective evidence of one plus one equals two. Your religious experiences are subjective, just like all the Christian denominations and beliefs.
I seem to have used a term you are not familiar with. When I speak of an external world I mean a world external to the self and its awareness. You are right though that knowing there is such a world cannot be a matter of evidence because any evidence that confirms the existence of such a world is also compatible with the hypothesis that such a world is an illusory construct. We can observe 1+1 equalling 2 on a number of occasions but that is not what 1+1=2 means. It means 1+1 always makes 2 (given standard meanings and standard arithmetic). Some people have tried to argue that arithmetic is an induction from evidence (J S Mill) did but ultimately that does not ride.When a person sees one thing added to another what usually happens is that something clicks and he knows intuitivly this must always happen; does this not happen for you?
We can only verify within an existing framework. That is how verification works. There is no position outside all the positions from which we can verify metaphysical claims. Hence I can tell you what to do if you want to know whether there is a God but I cannot prove that there is a God.
Then why should I be interested at all if you can't verify your claims?
Because the mere fact that you can't verify something does not mean it canot be true and cannot be known to be true. Arithmetic is a very good example of this. We cannot prove that the whole of arithmetic is consistent nonetheless we have to assume it is true. We do not abandon belief in arithmetic because we cannot prove its consistency. Because we cannot prove this a number of theories about what arithmetic have emerged. The fact there are now multiple contradictory theories does not mean people have abandoned maths. Nor does it mean maths has become less interesting. In anything these counter intuitive discoveries have made maths much more interesting.
John Barrow wrote:If a 'religion' is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel taught us that mathematics is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.
No. We have discussed all this before. You find it impossible to reflect what Christians believe without adding your own distorted interpretations. When you can present what we believe as we believe it you will be ready to criticise it. Again I encourage you to read that essay by Rogers.
And I encourage you to read all of Carrier's books.
SEG, I am suggesting you read a short essay by one of the most important and influential thinkers of the last couple of centuries.
Me too.
SEG much as you would like to believe it Richard Carrier is not a major thinker, he is not highly regarded in his own field.
I want to know what you mean by the term youare using not what someone else says it means. But if I accept this very broad definition of course Christianity was subject to religious syncretism. Now what?
Now you should accept that Christianity was cobbled from Judaism and local mystery religions, which were cobbled from local Canaanite and other pagan religions.
I'm sorry. That conclusion does not follow from the premise. If, within this very broad definition there are syncretic elements in Christianity, and I think it can be easily shown there are, it does not follow the whole thing was cobbled together as you suggest.
So when he supposedly said, "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods,..." you believe that he didn't think the other gods were real?
IOW he thought that God was greater than..nothing? Or greater than actual gods which were in reality really false? This really doesn't make any sense.
It's entirely possible that at thius point Jethro was what we would now call a henotheist, but because one person in a narrative holds that belief it does not imply that the narrative as a whole is promoting henotheism. It is also possible that his beliefs do not fit neatly into our modern concepts and he does not have a definite idea about what kind of reality he ascribes to various gods.
Okay, so your argument is that the scribes that transmitted the scriptures were Christians and therefore distorting its message.
Not just Christian scribes.
I think you are saying this was a deliberate conspiracy of some kind.
Absolutely! Don't you think that there was political and theological control over what was written and preserved? If you don't you are very naive.
That is not the same as saying there was a conspiracy to distort the transmission of the texts.
What other reason could there be to actively destroy and manipulate the texts? Or don't you believe that this was the case?
The manipulation is something you are reading in. The observable fact is that there are a diversity of readings for some texts. A text may be destroyed if it was felt to be an unreliable copy.
Do you have evidence to support that claim rather than a more general claim that scribes tend to interpret a text in terms of what they think it likely to say, which would apply in the other cases where you say it wouldn't.
Back atcher - Read most of Bart Ehrman's books on this subject.
So if you have read these works them I am simply asking for a single example where a conspiracy, rather than an understanding in terms of expectations, has been proved. That should not be difficult if the examples exist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
After the First Council of Nicea (325 CE), Roman emperor Constantine the Great issued an edict against nontrinitarian Arians which included a prescription for systematic book-burning:

"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offense, he shall be submitted for capital punishment....."[3]

According to Elaine Pagels, "In AD 367, Athanasius, the zealous bishop of Alexandria... issued an Easter letter in which he demanded that Egyptian monks destroy all such unacceptable writings, except for those he specifically listed as 'acceptable' even 'canonical'—a list that constitutes the present 'New Testament'".[4] (Pagels cites Athanasius's Paschal letter (letter 39) for 367 CE, which prescribes a canon but does not explicitly order monks to destroy excluded works.[5]) Heretical texts do not turn up as palimpsests, scraped clean and overwritten, as do many texts of Classical antiquity. According to author Rebecca Knuth, multitudes of early Christian texts have been as thoroughly "destroyed" as if they had been publicly burnt.
This is nothing to do with what we were discussing. We were talking about deliberately modifying texts to change the messafe of Christianity. I know you have started sneaking the word destroying in but that was not what we were originaly discussing. This is about destroying theological writings at a time when the emperor thought they were heretical.
Also read: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible And Why
I should do sometime.
Spirits, Gods, Ghosts - they mean the same to me. As I have said previously, what your god and all the other gods, spirits, ghosts etc have in common is a lack of evidence. That should tell you something.
That explains why you have misunderstood Tyler. He does make precisely these kinds of distinctions in order to argue his case for the evolution of religious concepts.
Last edited by Moonwood the Hare on Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:39 pm
This unmoved mover must have had a need to change for the first cause to happen. A perfect being would have no such need. Yet we are here. You would have to admit now that your god is not perfect and had a need to change. Which also means that your immutable god cannot exist.
You seem to be saying the unmoved mover would need to change its being or nature in order to effect change I canot see why.

Actually I don't think there is any need to incorporate the idea of static perfection into God. Can you show me why we are compelled to do this?

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