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Featured Infallibility

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Vinayaka, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Many assume they were written afterwards, for to believe they were written beforehand requires a belief in prophethood. The exact time they were written is unclear to one who accepts Jesus could predict the future, both short and long term.

    We are struggling to have certainly about the origins of the Words if considering the historic context alone, I agree. It is much more a matter of faith than verifiable history. We can still have Faith while acknowledging the historic uncertainty, can we not?

    If we could kick it into touch we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we?
     
  2. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    At some point it’s just words on a page written in a line. Sometimes they touch me deeply, perhaps they may speak to me, they may motivate me or allow me to gain a glimpse of something profound. But I’m sure I could have much the same experience reading the words attributed to Buddha or Krishna. It’s not like I’m a Christian and need to tow the party line.
     
  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Welcome back, BTW. Hope all is well with you.

    A few? Although the Baha'i faith speaks of unity, actions betray that thought. Telling Christians and Muslims that they are wrong, telling gays they have to be celibate, disallowing women from serving on the highest court, ignoring many other faiths, overt proselytising, infallibility of one guy, and more. Those things are all about dividing humanity, separating the Baha'i as better than everyone else. As the old wisdom speaks ... actions speak louder than words, I'm afraid.

    Not something unique to Baha'i though, so you do have company.
     
  4. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Read it - it is silly. Sorry but it is. It makes the assumption that humans suddenly appeared without precursor - and of course we know that this is simply untrue. Abdu'l Baha once again appears uninformed and obtuse in his argumentation. Of course the first human had a father and a mother - they just weren't human - the "appearance" of the "first man" was a speciation event in an incredibly long process of evolution not a miraculous moment of creation.

    Of course it is logically possible - we just know it hasn't happened because the consequences would be - literally - earth shattering.
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    By calling "words on a page" the Word of God changes everything. You would think that if it really was The Word of God, it would be the infallible Truth. But the Bible isn't and the NT isn't. Baha'is call the Quran "more authentic" but do you believe it is infallible. Now for the writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l Baha, I thought the Baha'is do believe them infallible except for the things like social laws that can be changed by the next manifestation?
     
  6. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Well no - not really - I mean most scholars believe that Mark was the first of the canonical gospels to be completed - about 66-70CE and therefore quite possibly before the fall of Jerusalem - which would mean that Mark's version of the "Olivet discourse" was indeed prophetic. And whilst I personally find that unlikely, it is, as you say "uncertain". I don't think there is any genuine doubt about the other gospels having been written after 70CE. And even if they were, they could still (perhaps) be an accurate record of things that Jesus said long before the fall of Jerusalem. I think it is unlikely, but it is possible. And you can argue that if you like. But you cannot reasonably argue that...

    Not so - the time of the actual writing and the time of Jesus uttering the prophecy are different - we have always known that - Jesus did not record anything himself - at least not anything that has been preserved. So the question of the time of writing is not really the main issue. The issue is - as always with "revelation" - the veracity and reliability of the transmission. And that's a big problem for Baha'is because they want to reject a fair proportion of the Gospel tradition on the grounds of unreliable transmission - yes? So how can you then be so sure about the rest? That's not faith really - that's credulity. That's just swallowing the "party line" hook, line and sinker and then attempting to justify it on the grounds of "possibility".

    No - not really - as I pointed about above - you can have credulity - you can choose to believe it because it fits your chosen "pattern of sound teaching" (2 Timothy 1:13) - but I think "faith" has to be built on more than that. For me at least.
     
  7. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    That is all true, but on the other hand all truth is relative. We do need to consider the context of what was written or spoken. We need to consider the revelation of Muhammad and Bahá’u’lláh in its entirety.

    Abdu’l-Bahá was appointed as leader of the Baha’i Faith by none other than Bahá’u’lláh. The scope of his authority is elucidated by Shoghi Effendi.
     
  8. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you understood what Abdulbaha said. He did not make the assumption you are talking about. If you read the same Book, in other places, Abdulbaha clearly explains human came to existence gradually being evolved from one shape to another.
     
  9. Deidre

    Deidre Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that Catholics feel that the Papacy is infallible, but that how Popes interpret and teach Scripture is. I'm not really sure how that is viewed in non-Catholic faiths. I don't believe preachers are considered to interpret Scripture with infallibility.
     
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  10. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    OK - here's what he said exactly:

    "the first man, as the materialists believe, had neither father nor mother."

    How am I not understanding this? The first "man" did indeed have both a father and a mother. There is no "materialist" that believes that the first man "had neither father nor mother". Absurd Baha was (once again) just plain wrong.
     
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  11. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    what were the scientific facts when the Bible was written?
     
  12. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    I agree that Mark was most likely the first gospel written and the time frame 66 to 70 AD appears the accepted period of authorship for many scholars.

    Of course Jesus didn't write any of the Bible and it seems likely the first gospel we have was written at least 40 years after Jesus was crucified. Then to compound problems we really don't know for certain who any of the gospel writers were and it seems probable that none of them were actual witnesses to most of the events they wrote.

    I don't think any of this presents a problem for Baha'is at all. Baha’is have a broad range of views when it comes to the authenticity of the gospels.

    Baha'u'llah as you know spent most of His life associating with Muslims, which isn't surprising given He spent the first 35 years of His life in Persia and then the next 40 years as a prisoner or in exile throughout the Ottoman Empire. The body of His writings is huge compared with the New Testament or the Qur'an. We have many references to Christianity and to the bible. After Baha'u'llah we have Abdu'l-Baha who of course visited the West. Shoghi Effendi married a Westerner. So the Baha'i writings affirm the spiritual power and authenticity but not in the same manner as the conservative Christians.

    As you know the Muslims do not think too highly of the gospels and view them as corrupted and obsolete. Baha'u'llah made a strong statement in the Kitab-i-Iqan to contradict this view.

    We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also? What would be left to that people to cling to from the setting of the day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of the Muḥammadan Dispensation? What law could be their stay and guide? How could such people be made the victims of the avenging wrath of God, the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted with the scourge of chastisement by the heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of the grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled? We take refuge with God, from that which His creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He above their comprehension!

    Bahá'í Reference Library - The Kitáb-i-Íqán, Pages 81-93

    Does that mean the gospels are entirely authenticated?

    Shoghi Effendi as the guardian of the faith is the authorised interpreter of the Baha'i writings. He says:

    ...The Bible is not wholly authentic, and in this respect is not to be compared with the Qur'an, and should be wholly subordinated to the authentic writings of Bahá'u'lláh
    . (28 July 1936 to a National Spiritual Assembly)

    ...we cannot be sure how much or how little of the four Gospels are accurate and include the words of Christ and His undiluted teachings, all we can be sure of, as Bahá'ís, is that what has been quoted by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master must be absolutely authentic. As many times passages in the Gospel of St. John are quoted we may assume that it is his Gospel and much of it accurate.
    (23 January 1944 to an individual believer)

    When 'Abdu'l-Bahá states we believe what is in the Bible, He means in substance. Not that we believe every word of it to be taken literally or that every word is the authentic saying of the Prophet.
    (11 February 1944 to an individual believer)

    We cannot be sure of the authenticity of any of the phrases in the Old or the New Testament. What we can be sure of is when such references or words are cited or quoted in either the Quran or the Bahá'í writings.
    (4 July 1947 to an individual believer)

    We have no way of substantiating the stories of the Old Testament other than references to them in our own teachings, so we cannot say exactly what happened at the battle of Jericho.
    (25 November 1950 to an individual believer)

    Except for what has been explained by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, we have no way of knowing what various symbolic allusions in the Bible mean.
    (31 January 1955 to an individual believer)

    The Bible

    My Faith is built on Baha'u'llah whose Revelation can be authenticated and whose life is well recorded by many sources.
     
    #192 Dawnofhope, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  13. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I would say, The scientific facts are independent of time. But the Messengers of God always spoke to people in their level of understanding, and They did not explain science to people beyond what those people could understand and accept. Their mission has not been to teach details of science to people. They have alluded to somethings without going through the details of science, and they used scientific knowledge which the people were already familiar in their own time. For instance Jesus did not explain about nuclear power to people in His time, but that does not mean He did not know. No, He knew it all, but His mission was more on the spiritual nature of human, rather than the material world.
     
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  14. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    I don't think any kind of genuine evidence or lack thereof presents a problem for Baha'is. And that makes for repetitive statements of credulity (witness the rest of your post) - but not for meaningful debate.
     
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  15. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Would you? Then the fact that a virgin birth is scientifically impossible in the 21st century means it was scientifically impossible in the 1st as well?
     
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  16. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    You are changing the original argument though.
    When I say scientific fact I mean for example big bang, or evolution, or some of the laws of physics such as the gravity of earth. These are facts. But there are certain things that the current science does not know, such as how a virgin birth is possible. Moreover, I never said miracles are impossible, but a miracle does not have to mean breaking the laws of physics. If virgin birth is currently is impossible, it does not mean, it is a scientific fact. For example, 100 years ago it was impossible to freeze a woman's egg, and make a child outside of a womb, and perhaps no one could even believe such a thing would be ever possible, but was it a scientific fact?
     
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  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    OK - be sure to let us know when they figure out how to fertilize a human ovum without a sperm. I don't know about the sun standing still, but I reckon the earth will definitely stop moving for many people if they ever manage that! :D
     
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  18. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Let me give you a more clear example.
    There was a time that there was no living creature on earth. No body knows under what condition, living creatures started to appear, and still no one can produce a living creature out of soil and water. However, the scientist would tell you that, during a long period of time, it would be 100% possible that such a condition happens and a living be generated from earth soil. In another words, if you wait for 10 years, it is impossible for a basic living to be generated. But if you wait for billions of years, the probability that a living be generated from just soil is 100%. Likewise, it appears to be impossible that any woman become pregnant without a man, but if you wait for thousands of years, among trillions of people, eventually such a thing is not impossible. If you say it is impossible, you are illogical. This is how I understand the statements of Abdulbaha.
     
  19. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    It is not helping - ABs argument is silly - and educated people in the 21st century accepting it is even sillier. I'm sorry, but that's that I'm afraid. Nothing you can say can rescue your prophets from absurdity. If it walks like a duck...
     
    #199 siti, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  20. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    Do Baha'is believe that all life evolved from simpler life forms?
     
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