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

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

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:03 pm

It's a good piece of writing and I would agree on the whole. This is quite consistent with my claim that the idea of Satan evolves over time. For some reason she missses this from Romans 16 'The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.' Now that is clearly a reference to Genesis 3:15 and the serpent is being identified with Satan. I don't find this reading of the passages in Revelation convincing though I grant it is possible. It is also possible that the writer of Revelation is conflating the two serpents. I think you are being a overly literal to see the seven heads of the serpent in Revelation as a fact or an intended fact.

Ideas tend to emerge from the edge of awareness, concepts rarely leap into being at a point in time. So the understanding of Satan and the force evil develops by drawing together many themes from the Hebrew Scriptures and elsewhere. I know I mentioned literalism as meaning being in keeping with the intentions of the writer but actually it is far more subtle than this and in literary studies we refer to the belief that a piece of writing means only what its writer intends as the intentionalist fallacy.

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

Post by SEG » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:03 am

You are not paying attention to what occurred in history. From Richard Carrier: "The Persian Zoroastrian system of messianism, apocalypticism, worldwide resurrection, an evil Satan at war with God and a future heaven and hell effecting justice as eternal fates for all, was Judaized when they were imported into Judaism. None of those ideas existed in Judaism before that (and you won’t find them in any part of the Old Testament written before the Persian conquest)."
Also see: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christ ... in-of-evil
Through the influence of the dualistic thinking of Zoroastrian religion during the Babylonian Exile (586–538 BC) in Persia, Satan took on features of a countergod in late Judaism.
So it seems that some Christians much later desired that Satan was seen as the serpent in Eden, but that's only wishful thinking as the Satan we know and love today wasn't invented at that time. As for me being too literal about the serpent in Revelation having 7 heads, we ARE speaking of fictional beings!
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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

Post by SEG » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:52 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:03 pm
It's a good piece of writing and I would agree on the whole. This is quite consistent with my claim that the idea of Satan evolves over time.

I don't remember you saying that, though I'm glad that you agree and that you like the content.
For some reason she missses this from Romans 16 'The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.' Now that is clearly a reference to Genesis 3:15 and the serpent is being identified with Satan.
Yes, I have heard others say that this is a clear reference, but I don't think it is. A much clearer reference would be something including Eden, paradise, Adam or Eve. For something as important as this doctrine, why be vague with the meaning if the meaning is that the serpent in Eden is Satan and he tempted Adam and Eve? That's like saying it's clear that a so called prophecy of Jesus is true because it hints at a messiah being born or someone is a virgin that will give birth to a great leader.

Btw, did you know that the first man to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as a God given saviour and a messiah was a Persian ruler?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:39 pm

SEG wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:03 am
You are not paying attention to what occurred in history. From Richard Carrier: "The Persian Zoroastrian system of messianism, apocalypticism, worldwide resurrection, an evil Satan at war with God and a future heaven and hell effecting justice as eternal fates for all, was Judaized when they were imported into Judaism. None of those ideas existed in Judaism before that (and you won’t find them in any part of the Old Testament written before the Persian conquest)."
You see what is happening here. You began by trying to redifine well evidenced theories as facts and soon every theory you like becomes "what occured". So bearing in mind this is not my field lets look at some of the assumptions involved here.
1. One particular system of OT dating is accurate. Now there are a number of different approaches to dating the OT quite apart from the old liberal versus conservative dating issue. Some of the dating depends on late dating texts held to contain later ideas so parts of the argument are circular. None of these ideas exist in texts we date from after the Persian conquest because they contain ideas from after the Persian conquest. It is not the only reason for the dating but it does play a part.
2. The ideas in later Zoroastrianism are the same as the ideas of Zoroaster. We do not have contemporary texts containing these beliefs but rely on later ones. You are very skeptical about the dating of Biblical texts yet are displaying none of the same skepticism in relation to Zoroastrian texts.
3. Christians should reject ideas because they did nor originate in Judaism. If the idea of an evil Satan at War with God came from sources outside Judaism why should that invalidate the idea for Christians?
A key point here is the significance of the word Judaized. These ideas were not adopted,if adopted they were, unchanged but adapted to the new context. So neither Judaism nor Christianity become fully dualist and dualism is certainly regarded by Christians as a heresy when it crops up.
Another good book on this is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Biograph ... 135&sr=8-3
Through the influence of the dualistic thinking of Zoroastrian religion during the Babylonian Exile (586–538 BC) in Persia, Satan took on features of a countergod in late Judaism.
So it seems that some Christians much later desired that Satan was seen as the serpent in Eden, but that's only wishful thinking as the Satan we know and love today wasn't invented at that time.
But you have to understand that the people writing this did not believe they were inventing; they were discovering, or so they believed. The reason they can look back and see what they have now discovered in the past is because they believe in the reality of what they have discovered.
As for me being too literal about the serpent in Revelation having 7 heads, we ARE speaking of fictional beings!
No SEG. We arenot speaking about fictional beings. It is quite hard to explain the confusion here. This is not about your belief that these beings are fictional; it is about understanding the type of literature you are reading whether you agree with it or not. The authors of scripture do not believe they are talking about fictional beings; we can be confident of that because fiction is a modern literary form that did not exist in the first century. Nor do they think they are communicating facts which is another modern concept. The author of Revelation is trying to symbolise what he sees as realities. So he uses the symbol of a serpent which he identifies with Satan, and which most people think he also identifies with the serpent in the garden. But both these symbols, the serpent in Revelation and the serpent in the garden, if that is implied here, are being used as signifiers not descriptors. To say they have differences therefore they cannot be the same is to misunderstand the type of writing you are reading.

You might enjoy this latest piece from Andrew Rilstone: http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2019/10/a ... tique.html

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

Post by SEG » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:48 pm

Andrew is a practising Catholic
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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

Post by SEG » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:49 pm

sorry I am away on hols will answer fully later
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:11 pm

SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Andrew is a practising Catholic
Not as far as I am aware but he makes no secret about his Christian faith. I am not sure what your point is here. It's not quite as bad as when you started dismissing people's ideas because their parents were Jewish but it is certainly going in that direction.

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

Post by SEG » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:59 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:11 pm
SEG wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Andrew is a practising Catholic
Not as far as I am aware but he makes no secret about his Christian faith. I am not sure what your point is here. It's not quite as bad as when you started dismissing people's ideas because their parents were Jewish but it is certainly going in that direction.
It goes in the direction that he is heavily biased by his indoctrination, just like you are. You and he are presupposing that Satan existed in reality and wasn't a fictional character (made up) by ignorant, ancient authors. From his reviews, he doesn't discuss how Satan was portrayed as a mythical being in art or literature and he certainly wouldn't discuss him as a historical person as that would be just too silly, wouldn't it?
Last edited by SEG on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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SEG
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

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

Post by SEG » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:49 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:39 pm
No SEG. We arenot speaking about fictional beings.
Yes we are, unless you say that they were historical beings, which they clearly aren't. You have to realise that this was an era where the majority of folklorish, apocryphal and psuedographical writings were the norm, not the other way around. It was also the reason why there were over 20 original gospels in the NT, they culled it down to 4 as the former had too much folklore to be taken seriously. In my view, they were lies, intended to deceive the reader. If you were talking of the earliest beliefs in many ancient middle eastern belief systems, the snake is a bringer and guardian of wisdom and knowledge (as you alluded to earlier). That can be one reason why the Gnostics believed that the god who created Adam & Eve wanted to keep them ignorant of knowledge, and the serpent is the hero here for leading Adam & Eve to knowledge, and becoming god-like in the process. Nowhere in the earliest writings of the Hebrew Bible does it mention a connection with the serpent and Satan, not even a hint of it! In Christianity nowhere does Paul say anything about the snake being Satan either. As I said earlier, how could it be mentioned if the concept of Satan wasn't known at those times?
It is quite hard to explain the confusion here. This is not about your belief that these beings are fictional; it is about understanding the type of literature you are reading whether you agree with it or not. The authors of scripture do not believe they are talking about fictional beings; we can be confident of that because fiction is a modern literary form that did not exist in the first century.
Yes but can you be confident that they didn't make stuff up? Humans have been making things up since the dawn of time, especially attributing anthropomorphism to objects and animals like snakes. A talking snake is no different from a talking tree, they are not real, they spring from the minds of minds of men to make sense of concepts that they don't understand.
Nor do they think they are communicating facts which is another modern concept. The author of Revelation is trying to symbolise what he sees as realities. So he uses the symbol of a serpent which he identifies with Satan, and which most people think he also identifies with the serpent in the garden. But both these symbols, the serpent in Revelation and the serpent in the garden, if that is implied here, are being used as signifiers not descriptors. To say they have differences therefore they cannot be the same is to misunderstand the type of writing you are reading.
If Satan was truly imagined by any of the authors of the Bible as the serpent in the garden of Eden, then it simply isn't very clear at all. For a major concept of Christianity, this should be as clear as a bell and not have to be pushed and shoved until it fits into what modern Christians believe as major component of their holy salvation.
Last edited by SEG on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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

Post by SEG » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:50 am

From Wiki: According to German academic Gerhard von Rad, Lutheran theologian and University of Heidelberg professor, who applied form criticism as a supplement to the documentary hypothesis of the Old Testament, the snake in the Eden's narrative was more an expedient to represent the impulse to temptation of mankind (which is, disobeying God's law) rather than an evil spirit or the personification of the Devil, as the later Christian literature erroneously depicted it; moreover, von Rad himself states that the snake is not a demon, but one of the animals created by God, and the only thing that differentiates it from the others in Eden is the ability to speak:
The serpent which now enters the narrative is marked as one of God's created animals (ch. 2.19). In the narrator's mind, therefore, it is not the symbol of a "demonic" power and certainly not of Satan. What distinguishes it a little from the rest of the animals is exclusively his greater cleverness. [...] The mention of the snake here is almost incidental; at any rate, in the "temptation" by it the concern is with a completely unmythical process, presented in such a way because the narrator is obviously anxious to shift the responsibility as little as possible from man. It is a question only of man and his guilt; therefore the narrator has carefully guarded against objectifying evil in any way, and therefore he has personified it as little as possible as a power coming from without. That he transferred the impulse to temptation outside man was almost more a necessity for the story than an attempt at making evil something existing outside man. [...] In the history of religions the snake indeed is the sinister, strange animal par excellence [...], and one can also assume that long before, a myth was once at the basis of our narrative. But as it lies now before us, transparent and lucid, it is anything but a myth.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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