Moonwood the Hare wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:12 pm
I have explained on many occasions that I am not an evidentialist.
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?
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.
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.
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....."
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'". (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.) 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.”