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Featured Jesus was Narrow Minded

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Thief, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    And here you have me all wrong. I don'y actively deny the existence of god(s). At least, I do not formally take that stance. I am open to evidence... it's that none I have encountered or have been presented with so far has been compelling or anywhere near concrete/sufficient. Most of it isn't even directly related to the claim!

    My stance is "I don't know." And in that stance I see no reason to EVER invoke gods as if they exist. I invoke things that have been inter-subjectively verified to exist as if they exist. I know you've heard this a thousand times, but it is used because it is utterly true. My assuming the reality of gods without proper evidence of their existence would be the same as my assuming the reality of unicorns or fairies without proper evidence of their existence. Exactly the same. I simply don't do it. I don't state that "unicorns believe this" or "unicorns do that". It would be asinine.
     
  2. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    I was not aware that we where discussing your personal religious beliefs.

    Rather, I was responding to your contention that modern atheism existed in the ancient world - when it didn't. Even the thinkers who came closest, and Lucretius came the closest, would not pass the test for contemporary atheism. That's all I said and adduced evidence to explain my basis for claiming so.

    I never said that you did, nor are your private religious beliefs the focus of our discussion.

    That is good for you, I am glad you are convinced in your stance. But let me ask you this: why do you expect ancient people from a completely distinctive intellectual backdrop and value system, or indeed others even today, to share your presuppositions and framework here - or else deem them "narrow-minded"?

    Nothing you have said undermines the salient point that "open-mindedness" and "narrow-mindedness" are not constant, unchanging principles but rather concepts that are relative according to the prevailing societal norms of a given era.

    What is open-minded today, could very well be just the normative and socially accepted thing tomorrow. Like gay sex and gay marriage in the modern West. One is not open-minded anymore in the UK for supporting the right of a gay person to have sex and get married, because it is now normal. Just 30 years ago, advocating it would have been radical and free-thinking or could even have lost you social capital.

    What is generally conceived to be narrow-minded today by many people, might have been the norm or indeed even open-minded in a preceding period, because it arose from a questioning or rejection of the strictures or laws in place in that particular social context, which differ hugely from those in place today.
     
    #22 Vouthon, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  3. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    None of this changes the fact that these people you so desperately want to let off the hook asserted things for which they had no good evidence. Your argument is that they did so simply because it was "normal." But I'll state it again, they didn't go around stating EVERYTHING they were ever told, or even everything that was "normal" as if they knew it to be true. Their ability to maintain a knowledge-to-evidence ratio was completely intact. They chose not to use it this one specific avenue of thought.
     
  4. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Untrue.

    The modern techniques, tools and methods of enquiry were not yet available to them - and even the radically different ones that were available in the first century - for instance in the Greek philosophical schools - would have been denied to Jesus as a poor Galilean Jew.

    No one comes up with bright new ideas in a vacuum disengaged from their own environment and knowledge base. Einstein relied on his immediate physicist forerunners and colleagues when he first suggested general relativity. Without them, he wouldn't have come up with it - certainly not if he had lived in first century Judea rather than early 20th century Europe.

    I think that we are both going to have to accept that the paradigms by means of which we are approaching this topic are irreconcilable.

    I will not judge ancient people by modern modes of thought. I judge them, as Dawkins does and as do all contemporary scholars of antiquity trained in this field, according to their own norms, theories, approaches to rationality and perceptions of the world and society, which are - no matter what you claim to the contrary - often completely different and sometimes alien to our own sensibilities.

    As such, because our paradigms are so incompatible in kind, we are unlikely to meet in the middle on this, I'm afraid to say. If you claim, "Jesus or Socrates or Hero of Alexandria were closed-minded because they said X, whereas I believe Y because of Z", I will return to my framework of contextualizing these figures according to the modes of thought, intellectual milieu and competing philosophies actually available to them, in my attempt to evaluate whether any one of them was a radical or reactionary thinker when given a fair hearing in their own time and place.

    This does justice to these individuals on their own terms, not ours. Otherwise, it is like a team of Western explorers invading an Amazonian tribal, hunter-gatherer society and scorning them for not understanding the laws of thermodynamics or worshipping animal spirits without any prior knowledge of or appreciation for Darwin's Origin of the Species. It get's one nowhere and it isn't exactly an open-minded approach to take in my respectful, and honest, opinion.

    Because of this, I feel we are at cross-purposes and simply talking past each other.
     
    #24 Vouthon, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    And you STILL have not answered for how they were able to deny the claims made by any number of others about gods separate from their own. How were they able to accomplish this?
     
  6. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    That is an entirely different question to the one that you raised earlier, and which forms the backdrop to our debate. You wrote, "Jesus believed in God and strongly advocated believing in God" and claimed this was an example of his narrow-mindedness.

    In evaluating 'different' conceptions of deity, none of these ancient authors denied that supernatural entities known as 'gods' actually existed. The pagan critics of Christianity did not deny that the Jewish God was a god, or that Jesus actually could have performed miracles. Indeed, Celsus writing against Christianity in the second century claimed that, "Jesus performed his miracles by sorcery (γοητεία)" while the Jewish Talmud likewise claims that – "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic" (Babylonian Sanhedrin 107b, Editions or MSs: Firenze II.1.8–9, Barco).

    Rather, they judged that these entities - whose existence and magical powers they did not dispute as being possible or indeed plausible - were not worthy of worship, unlike the native pagan gods, because they taught things and expected things different from what the Roman gods expected and the Roman gods, along with their sacrificial rites, were understood to be essential to the survival of Roman civilization which meant that the Christian conception of God could not be accepted.

    It did not occur to any of these educated, elite thinkers that the laws of nature actually prohibited 'sorcery' or 'deities' as modern atheists and scientists now know is the case, because the tools of scientific enquiry and empirical study available to 17th-18th century enlightenment rationalists were not yet available to their ancient counterparts.

    Likewise, the ancient Christians did not deny the 'existence' of the Roman gods - they just thought of them as demons unworthy of worship.

    These ancient thinkers inhabited a theoretical worldview that is completely alien to us. If you approach their works without understanding their world on their terms, and import assumptions from modernity in light of the Scientific Revolution, then you will never able to accurately understand them or what they are in fact saying like trained scholars of antiquity do. As such, your opinions will not be accepted in scholarship for that reason by experts in the relevant fields.
     
    #26 Vouthon, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Who knows?
    Based on the context of his day, that doesn't appear to be the case, based on limited evidence.
     
  8. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    He may have been exposed to many separate tribes, but, culturally, they wouldn't have differed much from His own. The Romans were probably the most exotic aliens He had much contact with. He knew nothing of Samoan, Inuit, jivaro, Japanese or Australian beliefs and values.
     
  9. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    He was a salesman. What do you expect?
     
  10. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Neither did the Greeks, Indians, Persians or Egyptians. There was trade between China and the west. The silks, spices and fragrances that were so prized came from far flung parts of Asia. There wasn’t one Silk Road, it’s more like Silk Roads, a network that ran even through India. My point and belief is that there was a lot more cultural cross-pollination and travel than people think. That included linguistics, philosophy, theology and a lot more.
     
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  11. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    you refer to Jesus?
    or the guy that said Jesus was narrow minded?
     
  12. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    could we focus the discussion to an effect?

    if the Carpenter is narrow minded....and to follow Him means to find the path
    that only a few will find....

    then a peculiar and particular frame of mind is then sought

    should we define that frame of mind?
    as we attempt to determine.....just how narrow the path really is
     
  13. MJ Bailey

    MJ Bailey Member

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    All of them in one way or another
    People from different regions always have their belief systems. Look at some of the views from the Pharisees, Apostles, Muslims, Egyptian, etc. beliefs, all in which existed in the same general area.
     
  14. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    How can one call narrow-minded Him Who taught a code of love that is not only universally applicable to all races, nations, religions and cultures 2000 years after His passing but if practised would have prevented all wars, established world peace, ended poverty and created a beautiful world where people matter?

    Because of His teachings of love for all humanity, the remedy for all our ills, this to me makes Him the greatest Visionary that ever lived as He knew how to heal the human heart of hatred and inspire people to love one another.
     
    #34 loverofhumanity, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  15. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Single minded would be a better choice of words.
     
  16. RoaringSilence

    RoaringSilence Active Member

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    if someone said "father please forgive them for they not what they do." while being nailed , love your enemy , love your neighbors. that's not narrow minded at all. Even if this was a lie fabricated by people of those times ,whoever gave those values is admirable.
     
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  17. MJ Bailey

    MJ Bailey Member

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    Love is as eternal as existence itself.
     
  18. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    I assume He knew all of the above. But when asked about
    these things he said it wasn't for his people to know the signs
    or the times.
    But He knew the end was coming for Israel, and his warning
    saved the lives of many followers.
    He knew when Jerusalem would be back in Jewish hands
    again - he didn't give the date for this but rather the events that
    will precede it, ie the fall of the Gentiles.
    He wasn't preaching his own values. He said he came to preach
    those of His Father.
    He didn't care much for Jewish traditions, many of these He
    actually condemned, or refused to lived by.
    He had no interest in the Jewish-Roman issues. He would have
    known, if only if He had read it in the bible, that it would be Rome
    which "cut off" the Messiah.
     
  19. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    Jesus didn't approve of modern thinking about religion.
    He told the Lebanese woman he came for the Jewish people, not dogs.
    He didn't just rail against adultery, he went further and said that if you
    even LOOK at a woman in lust you are committing adultery.
    He didn't approve of divorce.
    All that this religious nation did for God wasn't enough
    He told someone not to attend a funeral but let the dead bury their dead.
    He said the Romans would lay siege to Jerusalem and kill even their children
    He said his nation was condemned to slavery, death, exile or hell.
    He said he would throw a woman into a bed of adultery, and kill her children
    He refused to answer many questions
    He said he was better than anyone else, either living then or in the Old Testament

    I could go on and on and on.
     
  20. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    UNTRUE !

    At best you could claim "Some verses in the Bible are narrow minded in my opinion"
     
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