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Featured Legitimate reasons not to believe in God

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Nov 12, 2022.

  1. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    Leave Hinduism out of it .. it is polygamous, and I am discussing God, as in Abrahamic faith.
    Christians believe in God, as do Jews and Muslims .. it is the creed that differs.

    Nobody knows all except God. We can claim to "know" the correct belief/creed, but clearly they cannot all be accurate, so what we "know" is based on our experiences, tradition and preference, for example.

    We are able to reach conclusions about God due to the way our mind works. Billions of people believe in God, despite the fact that God does not live alongside us physically.

    Some people believe in unfounded conspiracy theories and superstitous beliefs, yes..

    The only empirical evidence in this case is the Qur'an..
    That is what causes me to have "confirmation bias", because I have not found it to be incoherent or fraudulent.

    Sweeping generalisations cannot teach us anything about a particular belief.

    Science can help when it comes to "how", but not "why".

    Granted .. but if I feel it doesn't make sense in some way, then that is a good reason for me to become a Christian or Jew, for example.

    It does make sense if you believe in the unseen .. that there is likely to be more than this physical universe, and you believe that Jesus and Muhammad are who they say they were.

    I don't really subscribe to that .. there could be some truth in it, but the Qur'an is not a science book.

    There is nothing fortunate about people engaging in evil, and war happens despite religion .. it's mostly political and about power and money.

    ..when I say fortunate, I am not directly speaking about wealth .. more about lifestyle, and the benefits of community etc.

    I was referring more to what my religion teaches, such as 5 times prayer, fasting and zakat .. but that does include communal worship, yes.
    Unfortunately, I'm not well and I'm struggling to perform these simple acts of worship .. but the idea of discarding them does not seem helpful .. quite the opposite actually, in my experience. :(

    They will never seem to give any "good reason", as you see things from your own perspective, and think it unreasonable to believe in God, just on the say so of scripture that you see as flawed and deluded.
    You keep mentioning Hinduism, but each scripture/belief is not identical. Ancient beliefs are your speciality, not mine.
     
  2. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    You know I don't agree.
    You can say that you don't have a good reason to believe in God,
    ..but saying that everybody else cannot have a good reason, because they can't scientifically prove it, is only your opinion.

    Many people say they will believe if it can be proved that God exists .. that is what they say .. so what sort of proof do they require, that would prove it? [assuming God is non-physical]
    An angel from heaven? Might that not be just somebody playing a trick with a holographic projection?

    Well that's up to you .. some people are curious about beliefs, whilst others seem to think, perhaps due to past experiences, that it's all bunkum. :)

    It is logical to assume, that if God created the universe, then He is not part of it.

    It is only incoherent, if you assume that the universe has no author/source.

    Well, I would agree .. but it seems that you are saying that it is impossible to conclude that God exists by a process of "critical thinking", because it cannot be proved empirically.
    ..so your definition cannot be the same as mine.

    One thing that I will say..
    It is not possible to employ "critical thinking" to conclude that God exists, unless one has confidence in some scripture or personal experience.

    Exactly. You have no reason to believe that Abrahamic scripture is based on truth.
    I have no reason to believe that it isn't based on truth.

    Yes, but do we have reason to believe that the Bible is not inerrant?
    Many people believe on "faith" that the writers of the Bible did not make mistakes, and neither did those who chose the canon etc.

    ..not a guess, but the words in the Qur'an, which nobody has convinced me as yet, are the words of deluded or fraudulent men.

    To me, it's just game-playing.
    OK, I'll play.

    The claim that the Qur'an is the words of God dictated to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel cannot be disproved .. at best, it can only be questioned.
    i.e. maybe Muhammad was deluded or he was an expert on scripture living in an isolated desert and playing games etc. etc.

    The Qur'an .. therefore God !

    ..so, now you have to attack the Qur'an .. people throughout history have done that .. it just won't go away. ;)
     
  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    The tetragramaton is how some people view God. You're thinking that 'Yahweh' is a definition for God. It isn't. God is a concept derived philosophically, beginning with an assumption that God exists and is the essence of divinity, invisible, transcendent, untraceable.

    With respect to the professor, theories that attribute physical features to God are deviant. About the diagrammatic (which is not pronounced) you're best off consulting an expert on that such as a rabbi, however when it comes to 'God' which is an English term you are dealing with a word that represents a transcendent, omnipresent, invisible being who is not part of time, not powerful through any physical means but simply through being. You cannot prove or disprove it, far as I am aware. One can only disprove gods.

    NT is not a textbook, and it can be argued that in the NT Jesus is a man who gives up his humanity to merge into the divine, completing this upon his death. He ceases to be and become still, so that God's will is done on earth. Orthodox prayers and doctrines reflect this, however the NT does not own 'God' the concept.

    'God' is a concept not yet developed when most scripture is being written. It is also not owned by scriptures. They can refer to it perhaps.

    We cannot prove life has meaning, because for that we would need a larger context. Giving it context equals giving it meaning.
     
  4. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    The number one reason not to believe in the Gods of most all religions is because of this... They look like myth. Sound like myth. Yet, believers take them as being true. All the different religions work, somewhat, for the believers, so they seem like they are true. But, since they all contradict each other, they can't all be true. Even a religion like the Baha'i Faith makes adjustments to the other religions to get them to fit in with their religious beliefs... especially their beliefs about God. They make Hinduism and Buddhism somehow fit into the Abrahamic way of thinking about God. But again, whether it's true or not doesn't matter. To the believer, it is The Truth.
     
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  5. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Prove isn't a word I use in this context. The critical thinker's criterion for belief is that an idea be demonstrated to be correct beyond a reasonable doubt by being able to predict outcomes better than competing ideas. There is no other good reason to believe that something is true than that evidence supports the belief.

    Evidence of a god would be any sensory apprehension better explained by the existence of a sentient, universe-creating agent. The ID people said that irreducible complexity in biological systems was evidence of intelligent design, and I agree with them, but I don't agree that it is evidence of a universe-creating intelligence. Such an intelligent designer could itself be the product of abiogenesis and biological followed by psychological and then cultural evolution leading to a super-human race of extraterrestrials, and thus naturalistic and not the creators of theirs and our universe.

    Why? Because you can't find or demonstrate one? There is nothing known to exist that isn't physical. The concept is incoherent. To exist is to be located in time and space and to be able to interact with other things that exist in time and space. The collection of all such things is reality, and reality is physical (energy, matter, force, space, and time).

    You had written, "our problem is that you assume that you know everything that a person could possibly know on the subject," and I had answered, "I know what believers tell me. I know what evidence they offer for gods and the arguments they make in support of their belief. I don't need to know any more than that to reject their claims."

    I don't understand what you are trying to tell me that is relevant to either of those comments. Can we assume that since you didn't address that you accepted my answer and now understand how I can say that if they claim that a god exists, that I can call their conclusions unsound without knowing everything that a person knows on any subject beyond what he has told me? That really is the gist of debate - grasping the other guy's idea and responding to it responsively, that is, writing something that indicates that one understood it, and either agrees, or does not and give reasons that show why it cannot be correct (rebuttal). Whenever he doesn't, it is assumed that it is because he can't, and the usual reason for that is because he is wrong and that that has been successfully demonstrated.

    I can't stress that to you enough. At this point, I conclude that you were wrong, and I was right, because I made the last plausible, unrebutted claim. You implied that I couldn't know what believers know and that therefore could not call their god beliefs irrational. I showed why that was wrong, why I could call their god beliefs irrational. That was a rebuttal, and a plausible one at that - could easily be the case. But one of us must be incorrect, since our claims are mutually exclusive. And then you dropped the ball with an irrelevant comment about some people being curious and others not. OK. I don't argue with that. Nor that there are 24 hours in a day, nor that water is wet. But so what? My plausible argument remains unrebutted, and that subthread has come to an end.

    For the record, I am not really interested in what other people believe, just what they know and can demonstrate, which is to say, how they arrive at their beliefs.

    My comment was, "Theists want it both ways. They want a god that is detached from reality and undetectable from within it, but is somehow at the same time real itself and causally connected to it."

    I'm talking about reality, which may be more than the universe. It is not logical to assume that anything not a part of reality can be said to exist or to be able to affect reality. That's a rebuttal. Why? What makes it that? It is a contradiction of your claim. We cannot both be correct. Which of us is? You know my rule for deciding that. Right now, it's me, who says it's illogical to affirm that something could be the source of reality without ever having been a part of it. If you disagree and can say why that statement is flawed, then you have a rebuttal and should present it. If not, if you merely disagree but can't rebut, then the debate is over. Like I said, I don't have much interest in what others believe that they cannot demonstrate or otherwise defend.

    I had written, "That's how the supernatural realm and its denizens are described by believers, and it's an incoherent position."

    No, that is incorrect. I explained how the position was incoherent. Once again, instead of showing how it wasn't, how the idea that something could exist in a realm outside of time and space, and how it could modify reality without itself being detectable actually makes sense for reasons you then provide, you simply disagree without argument or explanation. OK. Same answer as always. You didn't rebut because you can't, and the most likely reason for that is because I am correct. Correct ideas cannot be successfully rebutted. If I say that I live five blocks north and three blocks east of the pier, that idea can be successfully rebutted if it is incorrect, but not if it is however much somebody else says that he doesn't agree. So what? He's wrong.

    Agreed. Your definition of critical thinking and mine are different.

    What one has confidence in is not relevant if it is not because that belief is empirically justified. Unjustified belief - faith - is not part of the method. In fact, the value and purpose of the method if to avoid that.

    I have more than no reason to believe that Abrahamic scripture is based on truth. I have reason to believe that it is not based in truth, and so would you if you looked at it critically. What is the sine qua non of a wrong idea? What is true about wrong ideas that makes them different from correct ones? These are important questions if one wants to accumulate only correct beliefs. I have given you a partial answer in this response already. Hint: correct answers are demonstrably correct (correspondence theory of truth), are internally consistent (not self-contradictory), and cannot be successfully rebutted.

    They are demonstrably incorrect. The claim is easily falsified.

    You're still guessing. How do you know that the Qur'an writers weren't deluded or fraudulent? Billions of people believe that Jesus was resurrected. Presumably, as a Muslim, you don't but over a billion Christians make that claim. What's your answer? Deluded or fraudulent? I'm going with deluded. They believe something that is untrue. That's not so hard. I believe that many of the early church fathers knew that they were just making things up. Here are sone words from Luther, which I assume that Paul would agree with:

    "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

    This is your sound argument that concludes, "therefore God"? Thanks for addressing the issue this time. And yes, you certainly do have a different understanding of what critical thinking is. I'm divided over whether you actually believe that what you wrote was critical thinking (delusion = false belief) or whether you don't actually believe that (fraud = affirming what one doesn't actually believe). Or neither - just joking and not expected to be taken seriously. If so, it was a good one. It got a chuckle. I hope that's what you were going for.
     
  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    That's not true.
    Many concepts are not physical.
    Mathematics is an example .. numbers can be realised by counting objects, but objects are not necessary for the concept.
    Complex numbers can't be seen as a number of objects, but nevertheless they represent something.

    The mind is not physical as a concept, and it makes no difference whether the mind is an emergent property of a brain or not, the concept is not a physical thing, and psychology is not purely the study of "the brain".

    Non-physical concepts do not rely on space and time .. they are valid in their own right.
    Does mathematics rely on the existence of the universe?
    I wouldn't have thought so .. I cannot envisage another universe in which the concept of number was totally different because of a physical reality.

    Wrong?
    Not at all. You ask for the impossible, knowingly.
    I can and have given reasons for my belief, but naturally, you dismiss them all, with your "critical thinker" stuff. :)
    i.e. the evidence I refer to does not prove anything

    ..and that's right. It can't be categorically proved that God exists.
    ..and God wants it that way .. It is up to us how we evaluate the Bible and Qur'an, and this divides mankind into believers and disbelievers. It is intentional. :)

    ..and has your mode of argument taught you anything at all about Islam or Christianity?
    ..or is it just an argument stating all religious belief is irrational, and that any creed or belief cannot be verified, so it's all a waste of time?

    I would have thought that learning about what people believe and why is NOT a waste of time, myself. :)

    That's reasonable .. I think along the same lines.

    Just a moment .. "reality" is not necessarily equivalent to "the universe".
    What I mean is, that God can be part of reality, but not of the physical universe.

    OK .. that's fair enough.
    If you assume that the universe is all there is, then God cannot exist, because it is illogical that God can be part of the universe that He created .. it is contradictory. It means that God created Himself, and that God did that when He did not exist. :D

    What explanation is necessary?
    This universe is a space-time continuum. We observe how energy is dependent on "mass x velocity x velocity" .. in other words, objects with mass exist in the universe, with time being defined in relationship to it.
    Something without mass, such as a non-physical concept like God, is not subject to time or anything else in the universe.

    One can get into argument about quantum mechanics and black-holes, but this cannot tell us definitely about what we don't know.
    Nobody can prove non-physical concept cannot exist without a universe, but there are many reasons to believe that it can. It most certainly is not incoherent.

    Yes .. I don't completely depend on empirical evidence .. I take all forms of evidence into consideration.

    Oh, I do look it it critically. I do not want to be made a fool of.
    I would prefer to avoid that, if at all possible.

    The answer to whether God exists is not like the answer to a simple mathematical sum.
    Can anybody "demonstrate" that something that is non-physical exists?

    I would agree that the Bible is not inerrant, and it is not difficult to see why. That does not mean it has no value, or is all fictional.
    Absolutely not.

    Why would you bring that up?
    Jesus would have to die before being ressurrected.
    It is not difficult to see, that if Jesus did not actually die, [but it appeared as if he did], it would explain a lot.

    To know the likelihood of whether the Qur'an is fraudulent, one needs to investigate in detail the history of Muhammad, the place he was born, all about the isolated oasis in the desert with relatively few inhabitants 1500 years ago.
    One has to investigate how society was transformed and how and when the verses were revealed.

    ..and so much more. A billion words could be written on the subject, and I'm not particularly good with words .. I am not even a scholar, but while being a Muslim for over 45 years, I haven't come across anything substantial to make me think that the Qur'an is just copycat bunkum written by fraudsters. :)

    Not deluded. They are mistaken. We are all capable of being mistaken.

    I'm not joking. :)
    Of course, it is too simplistic. One needs to know why I believe that the Qur'an is what it is claimed to be.
     
  7. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    No I don't believe things just because it's tradition starting with ancient cultures who knew little about the natural world and assumed that Gods and divine beings were real. We now know things are made up. Even if you believe Islam than you believe all other religions are just made-up claims and even Judaism and Christianity are largely made up. Now you are suggesting the OT is incorrect about Satan. Yet somehow the book you choose to believe, that one is all true?
    I believe in things that have reasonable evidence to support them.



    Maybe for some people. But for people who care about what is actually true they look at the claims a scripture makes and looks at the various forms of evidence and forms beliefs accordingly.
    It isn't a matter of yes/no. I would love to know people had ghosts inside them and would contain their consciousness and live in another dimension after death. I only see stories.



    First of all Satan didn't fall from Grace. He was the angel of Yahweh and he did work for him. He delivered 2 plagues for example. Nothing changed, he already did the dirty work.
    The difference in Christianity is in the NT he somehow is like the Persian devil. Yet he already was doing evil. God allowed and requested it. They changed myths to reflect the Persian stories.

    Just like God has no evidence and is a fiction, "grace" is a metaphor. Although generally when people go through a phase of too much pride/envy to comes back and causes issues. Which then become great learning experiences. So it's all important.
    But everyone has pride in accomplishments, religion, nationalism, patriotism, it's part of most cultures. So that sounds like lip-service that no one actually follows or believes.
     
  8. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely! Like you, joelr, I believe in things that have reasonable evidence to support them.
     
  9. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    What a sweeping generalization that isn't even correct. In the most popular form of Hinduism Adviata Vedanta everything is an aspect of God - Brahman. Other divine beings like Krishna are aspects of Brahman.
    Just like Yahweh and all the angels, Satan, all the monsters in Revelation, giants, and so on.
    Every deity in Hinduism is just an aspect of Brahman. Just like Abrahamic religions. Except people and everything are also part of Brahman.



    And that is why you are probably wrong. Basing beliefs on tradition and experiences is not a good path to truth. Evidence is a good path. The people who came up with scripture took Gods for granted. They didn't know what germs were or a galaxy. Preference is an even worse path to truth. Truth doesn't need be comfortable to be true.



    Billions also don't believe in Gods. Billions believe in completely different Gods. From 10,000 to 1200 BCE completely different Gods were believed in. That isn't "conclusions". All different, speculative, rather inconclusive. Now secular thinking is rising very fast.

    Or revelations. That has no evidence at all.

    Then you have no empirical evidence. Christians say the Bible is a complete whole and blends together so well it must be divine. Hindu say the Vedic scripture is divine.
    Many books are not incoherent, doesn't make them true? Fraudulent? You cannot prove the Mormon revelations are not fraudulent? You cannot prove the NT is not fraudulent?
    It makes claims of speaking to a God. Yet writes in human knowledge, all known at the time. All the science was Greek science. No math, no medical advancements, germ theory, things are made of atoms....nothing a man couldn't write over a period of time from that time.
    Nothing there demonstrates a supernatural source.
    In fact the long thread we had about all that science, why did the apologetics lie so bad? It's all Greek science.
    Also the God in the book is incredibly angry at non-believers and other religions. Like an angry person.


    No that is specific. If you are doing the same thing as all other religions that you think are wrong but expect you get a special pass that is a red flag on the logic.


    Writing a book that claims to be from a God and saying life started "because I wanted it" is also not an explanation.
    I can write a book about a God, Goblin, Thanos with Infinity stones, and say they created life because they willed it. Not an explanation without evidence it's true.

    Also we don't need a why. The universe doesn't owe us an explanation. People are uncomfortable with that and make up reasons.


    You don't need to pick a religion? They are actually all probably made up by people equally as much.

    Yes it's likely. Does that mean Krishna is real? Does that mean the trinity is real and Jesus is God? Inana? Thor? Much may be unseen, it has nothing to do with made up mythology.
    The unseen also isn't Middle Earth, Harry Potter magic or Star wars or anything from a myth.
    It's probably more of what we see. Nature, probabilities, types of quantum mechanics.
    We are not the center of the universe. If an asteroid hits and all life goes extinct do you think the trillions of other planets and billions of galaxies will just go away in this universe?


    Denial is your choice. If the Quran wasn't a science book why is there science in it? Science textbooks didn't exist in the 7th century in the way they do today. They were known for studying Greek science. Apologetics says the science of life starting from water (one example) PROVES it's words from God. That is a lie.

    "Thales (c. 624-545 BC). Thales believed that water was the fundamental element from which all life emerged, "
    Ancient Greek Science | Overview, Inventions & Scientists | Study.com

    Were you not putting these examples forth?



    ..
    Of course you can find benefits? Every social system has hinderances and benefits? Has nothing to do with the actual truth of the claims of the theology?
    It's good to bring community together. You have less freedom of lifestyle choice and women and not equal. But this is a separate issue. Strong Christian communities also have similar benefits.


    Meditative practices are good for calming the mind. But for illness, secular people, people in all religions, cults, movements, besides the calming effects of meditation/prayer, all have the same experiences with illness. No group has a better mortality rate. If an illness has a 60% mortality rate then you will generally see 60% among all groups will succumb to the illness.




    No I do not see things from my "own perspective". Like everyone I have similar mental facilities. I understand that for something to be true it needs evidence, my feelings about it do not matter.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to believe in God, I see that there isn't evidence for any theism. None.

    They never give good reason because there isn't any good reason.
    A book says so. Not a good reason..
    I believe it. Not a good reason.
    My feelings. Not a good reason.
    Miracles. Where? Scientific consensus says prayer and faith healing has no evidence. American Cancer Society says they have documented over 200 cases of children who were taken out of standard treatment for prayer healing and died. The prognosis was positive assuming proper treatment.
     
  10. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    No the Israelite God was Yahweh? The OT writes the same things about the attributes of Yahweh as has been for thousands of years prior. Inana was spoke about very similar.

    Yahweh isn't invisible and untraceable in the OT. In Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulous new book she writes about all the original Hebrew passages that speak of Yahwehs body parts and comparisons to older Gods.

    You are using a modern concept, put together by Aquinas, Agustine, Origen and so on. Using mostly Platonic concepts


    Do you have a PhD in ancient biblical Hebrew? Can you source one who disagrees? Fransesca got into this because she felt these were legitimate readings and when she became a PhD she realized they are written the same as all other deities of the time. They had physical bodies even appearing as human. That was the theology.
    Later the theology was changed. Platonic ideas about tri-omni and transcendent being is from Plato's The One.
    Also astronomy was growing in the late 2nd century and the 7 heavens model used in Christianity wasn't working.
    Paul mentions the 3rd heaven so they still did have that model. But they were realizing that outer space didn't hold the 7 levels of heaven. So it became another dimension. Aquinas or one of them.....St Anslem? put Yahweh outside of time. It's all made up speculation.
    Doesn't make sense anyway? Outside time?

    The unfalsifiability fallacy occurs when someone makes a claim that is impossible to prove false. Santa Clause cannot be proven false. Inana cannot be proven false. This doesn't show they are real.




    God changed with the times. Yahweh was formed from surrounding semitic cultures and radically changed later by bringing in Platonism and Neo-Platonism. Origen and such.

    Paula Fredriksen PhD who is a specialist in this covers the evolution of this God -

    Jesus is a Hellenistic deity.



    Christian and Hellenistic ideas of redemption cannot be sharply separated.

    The deity's resurrection from the dead gives to the initiates, who see their own destiny prefigured in his adventures, hope of a life after death.

    But notions and expressions akin to Hellenistic mysticism are already present in, the Pauline doctrine of redemption. Sin is traced back to the flesh and to the natural man. According to Rom. 8:19-22 perishable, degenerate creation looks for deliverance from transitoriness and for the revelation of the sons of God. As the apostle fervently longed for freedom from the body of death (Rom. 7:24), so also redemption is for him deliverance from aiv e'VeCrd, (Gal. 1:4). This leaning toward a "physical" and cosmic extension of redemption is an approach to Hellenistic conceptions. Paul's representa- tion of the believer as living and suffering in Christ, as crucified, buried, and raised with him, recalls the similar way in which the Hellenistic mystery-religions relate the believer to the dead and risen god (Attis, Osiris, Adonis). Thus Paul actually appears to be indebted to Hellenistic mysticism for certain suggestions. As Plato used Orphism, so Paul appropriated forms of expression for his faith from the mysticism of the world to which he preached the gospel.
    Hellenistic Ideas of Salvation,
    Source: The American Journal of Theology

    We cannot prove life has meaning, because for that we would need a larger context. Giving it context equals giving it meaning.[/QUOTE]


    Well theologians riffing off Greek concepts certainly don't own anything either but modern Christians take that as gospel. The OT concepts could easily be just as developed? Nothing that says later writings are any more correct? It's just taking a specific deity and adding Greek philosophy.

    None of this stuff gives meaning to life any more than stories about Brahman.
     
  11. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    It is. I'm interested in what is actually true and applying rational thinking as best I can as to these issues.
     
  12. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Yes most people do. Except with scripture. There isn't reasonable evidence to support that. Do you find Hindu scripture convincing? The Quran? Mormonism revelations? Or are you just taking the specific scripture you believe and asking for special pleading with that. Because that demonstrates that you do in fact not have reasonable evidence.

    Because it says so isn't good evidence. If it isn't for the Quran it isn't for older Hellenized versions of Judaism. The gospels are actually anonymous so they are far worse.
    As the Oxford Annotated Bible states:

    , the Oxford Annotated Bible (a compilation of multiple scholars summarizing dominant scholarly trends for the last 150 years) states (p. 1744):


    "Neither the evangelists nor their first readers engaged in historical analysis. Their aim was to confirm Christian faith (Lk. 1.4; Jn. 20.31). Scholars generally agree that the Gospels were written forty to sixty years after the death of Jesus. They thus do not present eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings.



    Scholar M Ferguson comments and lists all the vast internal and external evidence for this conclusion. (not included)

    "Unfortunately, much of the general public is not familiar with scholarly resources like the one quoted above; instead, Christian apologists often put out a lot of material, such as The Case For Christ, targeted toward lay audiences, who are not familiar with scholarly methods, in order to argue that the Gospels are the eyewitness testimonies of either Jesus’ disciples or their attendants. The mainstream scholarly view is that the Gospels are anonymous works, written in a different language than that of Jesus, in distant lands, after a substantial gap of time, by unknown persons, compiling, redacting, and inventing various traditions, in order to provide a narrative of Christianity’s central figure—Jesus Christ—to confirm the faith of their communities.

    As scholarly sources like the Oxford Annotated Bible note, the Gospels are not historical works (even if they contain some historical kernels). I have discussed elsewhere some of the reasons why scholars recognize that the Gospels are not historical in their genre, purpose, or character in my article “Ancient Historical Writing Compared to the Gospels of the New Testament.” However, I will now also lay out a resource here explaining why many scholars likewise doubt the traditional authorial attributions of the Gospels.

    Coming from my academic background in Classics, I have the advantage of critically studying not only the Gospels of the New Testament, but also other Greek and Latin works from the same period. In assessing the evidence for the Gospels versus other ancient texts, it is clear to me that the majority opinion in the scholarly community is correct in its assessment that the traditional authorial attributions are spurious. To illustrate this, I will compare the evidence for the Gospels’ authors with that of a secular work, namely Tacitus’ Histories. Through looking at some of the same criteria that we can use to evaluate the authorial attributions of ancient texts, I will show why scholars have many good reasons to doubt the authors of the Gospels, while being confident in the authorship of a more solid tradition, such as what we have for a historical author like Tacitus.

    How do we determine the authors of ancient texts? There is no single “one-size-fits-all” methodology that can be used for every single ancient text. We literally have thousands of different texts that have come down to us from antiquity, and each has its own unique textual-critical situation. There are some general guidelines that can be applied broadly across all traditions, however, from which more specific guidelines can further be derived when assessing a particular tradition.

    Scholars generally look for both internal and external evidence when determining the author of an ancient text. The internal evidence consists of whatever evidence we have within a given text. This can include the author identifying himself, mentioning persons and events that he witnessed, or using a particular writing style that we know to be used by a specific person, etc. The external evidence consists of whatever evidence we have outside a given text. This can include another author quoting the work, a later critic proposing a possible authorial attribution, or what we know about the biography of the person to whom the work is attributed, etc.

    For the canonical Gospels there are a number of both internal and external reasons why scholars doubt their traditional authors—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I shall begin by summarizing the problems with the internal evidence.....................etc"
     
  13. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
    Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes. I am saying 'God' is a modern concept derived philosophically and believed in without proof. That is part of how it comes to be something which cannot be proven or disproven. I am not saying you cannot debunk particular views about the diagrammatic or Inana, and I'm not saying that you can't debunk beliefs about what you have termed 'Yahweh'. Maybe you can. If it has features which can be disproven then disprove them as you wish.

    Jesus imitates Hellenistic deities but also imitates various stories about Israel and is not a Greek god. He also does not begin life as a deity but dies to himself, destroying all that is human about himself leaving family and eventually all self interest behind. His preaching is of self denial, not particularly different from the concept of nirvana except that it is in service of the church and devoting one's life to a greater good. Greek gods are about getting favors for ourselves by using the gods or making requests from them.

    Resurrection and repentance are equivocated in the preaching of Jesus which. Perhaps stoics could think of repentance as a valuable kind of resurrection, but Jesus borrowing from Greek imagery does not speak to the topic of God's existence. It is developed independently.

    Borrowing imagery doesn't make it the same thing. I am speaking briefly, but I appreciate what you're saying. You're thinking that all of this is the origin of God though, and it isn't. Paul could be gone and Jesus, too. These would not affect the existence of God.

    Riffing is a good term. Christianity does not understand its history, its people, its doctrines usually. Maybe it will always be that way. I don't know.

    I only bring up the meaning of life to illustrate the problem of truth depending on context.
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    No .. I don't see Judaism and Christianity as "made-up".
    I see Judaism as unreliable, as I believe in Jesus, and that he "corrected" the scribes of his time.

    eg. the OT tells us that Isaac was to be sacrificed in a dream,
    whereas in the Qur'an it is Ishmael

    I see Christianity as having evolved during political crisis in the Roman Empire, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.
    Is the trinity an "intentional" innovation, or did it happen due to other factors?
    G-d knows best.

    One cannot compare the Qur'an with older texts with anonymous authors.
    It is not that the texts are "wrong", so much as misunderstood or their interpretation.

    You keep on repeating your assertions, that are based on lack of knowledge and misbelief.

    ..while Jews don't believe that the serpent is actually satan, that has no bearing on matters. They are wrong. :)
    In Islam and Christianity, the serpent is satan, the difference being that Christians believe that satan was originally an angel, while Muslims believe that he is of the jinn.
    Nevertheless, he was very pious and WITH the angels originally.
    Angels aren't capable of sin and disobedience. If they were, then it makes no sense for angels to be depicted as "angelic".

    Re, Job, it was satan that afflicted him with chronic illness.
    G-d allowed it, rather than "ordered it" .. a subtle difference.

    ..whether people sin or not has no bearing on something being true or false. We are all sinners.
    Pride and envy can be beneficial, in some cases.
    However, in the case of satan, he became enraged when G-d created mankind, feeling as though he had been "replaced" by an inferior being. his pride and envy caused him to turn away from God in disobedience, and vowed to destroy us by deception.

    satan is the original "devil" .. mankind and jinn are all capable of acting like devils.
    ..it is due to our independent nature.
     
    #874 muhammad_isa, Dec 5, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  15. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, consider yourself an expert on ancient religions .. and I see that the gods have physical forms and are worshiped.
    G-d says not to do that. It has nothing to do with him.

    That is one of your false assertions, yet again.
    There is evidence, but you don't rate it. You assume them to be deluded or fraudulent.

    Deviation !
    Discuss anything but the Qur'an.

    Pure assumption. Assumption that scripture about G-d is all fraudulent or deluded.

    ..atheists claim so..

    Why is anything in it?

    It's subjective .. I wouldn't expect you to "see" what I see.
    It applies to me, and not you. I see that returning to disbelief, is just as life-changing as when I became a Muslim .. except that I would be returning to greater uncertainty .. why would I do that, unless I was running away?

    So what?
    Belief doesn't exclude anybody from catastrophe, including severe disability and illness.

    Yes .. you can't find a good reason to believe, but you then assume that nobody else can have.
    We all make different conclusions from "the data" and our own experiences in life.
    There is no "one size fits all" rational conclusion.
    That is the result of black & white thinking, amongst other things.
     
    #875 muhammad_isa, Dec 5, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  16. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Well said! Some (not all) atheists assume so much.
     
  17. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Really. What do atheists assume.

    I have a feeling that you will get it wrong.
     
  18. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Well all supernatural ideas cannot be proven or disproven? Santa Claus cannot be proven or disproven. There are many concepts of God. Yahweh is one. Brahman is another.

    The etymology of Yahweh is very suspicious, starting out as a Canaanite warrior deity and becoming the Go of Israel, remaining a warrior until the theology developed. The Persian theology appears in Christianity and later Greek theology. So it looks a bit made-up from other made up concepts.



    No Hellenistic deities are about salvation. They usually die/undergo a passion and resurrect often in 3 days providing salvation to followers. The things he was preaching were Hillelite Judaism which predates Jesus.
    Hillel the Elder - Wikipedia

    Dr Carrier PhD
    "Within the confines of what was then the Roman Empire, long before and during the dawn of Christianity, there were many dying-and-rising gods. And yes, they were gods—some even half-god, half-human, being of divine or magical parentage, just like Jesus (John 1:1-18; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; Philippians 2:6-8 & Romans 8:3). And yes, they died. And were dead. And yes, they were then raised back to life; and lived on, even more powerful than before. Some returned in the same body they died in; some lived their second life in even more powerful and magical bodies than they died in, like Jesus did (1 Corinthians 15:35-50 & 2 Corinthians 5:1-10). Some left empty tombs or gravesites; or had corpses that were lost or vanished. Just like Jesus. Some returned to life on “the third day” after dying. Just like Jesus. All went on to live and reign in heaven (not on earth). Just like Jesus. Some even visited earth after being raised, to deliver a message to disciples or followers, before ascending into the heavens. Just like Jesus."

    Hellenistic Ideas of Salvation,
    Paul Wendland
    The American Journal of Theology , Jul., 1913, Vol. 17,
    "
    The deity's resurrection from the dead gives to the initiates, who see their own destiny prefigured in his adventures, hope of a life after death....
    The believer loses his individual consciousness in enthusiasm and receives the divinity into himself. In moments of orgiastic ecstasy he experiences the ultimate goal of his existence, abiding fellowship with the god, who, as redeemer and savior will free him through death from the finiteness, the suffering, and the exigencies of the earthly life. Orphism sets forth this religious experience in a mystic theology which exerts a strong influence upon Pindar and Empedocles, for example, and which suggested to Plato his magnificent treatise on the dest of the soul.
    rom the second century A.D. on we possess rich source materials regarding the mystery cults and the profusion of new religious developments which grow out of the syncretism of the time. These sources acquaint us with the prevailing religious tendencies of antiquity in its declining period. Purification and rebirth, mystical union of the believer with the deity and the hope of bliss in the future world, revelation and charismatic endowment which essentially constitute redemption-these are the motives dominating the rites, sacraments, faith, and teaching of this syncretism. As enjoined in the liturgy of the Phrygian mysteries.

    The deity's resurrection from the dead gives to the initiates, who see their own destiny prefigured in his adventures, hope of a life after death…. the soul, conscious of its divine origin, strives for redemption from its foreign and unrelated companion, the body. It seeks deliverance from things sinful, material, and mortal. But the fundamental motive in these various representations is the same; it is longing for elevation above the earthly world and its ruling powers, i.e., for deification. The end of redemption is a life of eternal blessedness. The redeemer is the deity to whose service one devotes his whole life in order to obtain his help and favor.

    But notions and expressions akin to Hellenistic mysticism are already present in, the Pauline doctrine of redemption. Sin is traced back to the flesh and to the natural man. According to Rom. 8:19-22 perishable, degenerate creation looks for deliverance from transitoriness and for the revelation of the sons of God. As the apostle fervently longed for freedom from the body of death (Rom. 7:24), so also redemption is for him deliverance from aiv e'VeCrd, (Gal. 1:4). This leaning toward a "physical" and cosmic extension of redemption is an approach to Hellenistic conceptions. Paul's representa- tion of the believer as living and suffering in Christ, as crucified, buried, and raised with him, recalls the similar way in which the Hellenistic mystery-religions relate the believer to the dead and risen god (Attis, Osiris, Adonis). Thus Paul actually appears to be indebted to Hellenistic mysticism for certain suggestions. As Plato used Orphism, so Paul appropriated forms of expression for his faith from the mysticism of the world to which he preached the gospel.

    The relationship of Christianity to Hellenism appears closer in the Ephesian letter. Here Christ is the supreme power of the entire spirit-world, exalting believers above the bondage of the inferior spirits into his upper kingdom (1: 18-22). Christians must struggle with these spirits, among whom the sKoopoipdrope6 (astral spirits) are named. In like manner from the second century on Christ is more frequently extolled as a deliverer from the power of fate.' When Ignatius regards Christ's work as the communication of ryv^oaR and &0c9apria, and the Eucharist as food of immortality, he, like the author of the Fourth Gospel, shows the influence of Greek mysticism. Irenaeus' realistic doctrine of redemption also has, in common with Greek mysticism, the fundamental notions of deification, abolition of death, imperishability, and gnosis."
     
  19. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have been learning history from apologetics and a christian church. This isn't what the peer-reviewed historical field says at all?


    "

    Not in ancient Asia. Or anywhere else. Only the West, from Mesopotamia to North Africa and Europe. There was a very common and popular mytheme that had arisen in the Hellenistic period—from at least the death of Alexander the Great in the 300s B.C. through the Roman period, until at least Constantine in the 300s A.D. Nearly every culture created and popularized one: the Egyptians had one, the Thracians had one, the Syrians had one, the Persians had one, and so on. The Jews were actually late to the party in building one of their own, in the form of Jesus Christ. It just didn’t become popular among the Jews, and thus ended up a Gentile religion. But if any erudite religious scholar in 1 B.C. had been asked “If the Jews invented one of these gods, what would it look like?” they would have described the entire Christian religion to a T. Before it even existed. That can’t be a coincidence.


    The general features most often shared by all these cults are (when we eliminate all their differences and what remains is only what they share in common):


    • They are personal salvation cults (often evolved from prior agricultural cults).
    • They guarantee the individual a good place in the afterlife (a concern not present in most prior forms of religion).
    • They are cults you join membership with (as opposed to just being open communal religions).
    • They enact a fictive kin group (members are now all brothers and sisters).
    • They are joined through baptism (the use of water-contact rituals to effect an initiation).
    • They are maintained through communion (regular sacred meals enacting the presence of the god).
    • They involved secret teachings reserved only to members (and some only to members of certain rank).
    • They used a common vocabulary to identify all these concepts and their role.
    • They are syncretistic (they modify this common package of ideas with concepts distinctive of the adopting culture).
    • They are mono- or henotheistic (they preach a supreme god by whom and to whom all other divinities are created and subordinate).
    • They are individualistic (they relate primarily to salvation of the individual, not the community).
    • And they are cosmopolitan (they intentionally cross social borders of race, culture, nation, wealth, or even gender).
    You might start to notice we’ve almost completely described Christianity already. It gets better. These cults all had a common central savior deity, who shared most or all these features (when, once again, we eliminate all their differences and what remains is only what they share in common):


    • They are all “savior gods” (literally so-named and so-called).
    • They are usually the “son” of a supreme God (or occasionally “daughter”).
    • They all undergo a “passion” (a “suffering” or “struggle,” literally the same word in Greek, patheôn).
    • That passion is often, but not always, a death (followed by a resurrection and triumph).
    • By which “passion” (of whatever kind) they obtain victory over death.
    • Which victory they then share with their followers (typically through baptism and communion).
    • They also all have stories about them set in human history on earth.
    • Yet so far as we can tell, none of them ever actually existed.
    This is sounding even more like Christianity, isn’t it? Odd that. Just mix in the culturally distinct features of Judaism that it was syncretized with, such as messianism, apocalypticism, scripturalism, and the particularly Jewish ideas about resurrection—as well as Jewish soteriology, cosmology, and rituals, and other things peculiar to Judaism, such as an abhorrence of sexuality and an obsession with blood atonement and substitutionary sacrifice—and you literally have Christianity fully spelled out. Before it even existed.

    Dr Carrier Jesus historian

    Also resurrection is from the Persian occupation. They already had the revelation myth, a coming world savior, virgin born and the final battle agianst God/Satan where all followers resurrect into a new body and live forever on paradise Earth. That is a Persian myth the Israelites encountered during the 2nd Temple Period and is the origin of apoctalyptic literature.
    The Persian myth - Revelation - is in Mary Boyce's book on Zoroastrianism.
    It ended up in the NT and now its' popular as a Christian story.
    Everything not in Hellenism is in the Persian religion, dated to 1600 BCE.
    The 2nd Temple Period was 500 years of Greek/Persian occupation. Coincidence?

    "
    Historically, the unique features of Zoroastrianism, such as its monotheism,[5] messianism, belief in free will and judgement after death, conception of heaven, hell, angels, and demons, among other concepts, may have influenced other religious and philosophical systems, including the Abrahamic religions and Gnosticism,[6][7][8] Northern Buddhism,[7] and Greek philosophy.[9]

    " Mary Boyce, pg29

    As Professor Fransesca Stravopolou talks about, the 2nd T.P. is when the Judahite Kings returned from exile and the OT was re-branded and changed, assembled and focus on monotheism began. Ashera Yahwehs consort was believed to be the cause of the trouble in Israel. This is in scripture.
    Obviously the Persian myths had huge impact on Judaism and Christianity. Greek influence came in the last century BCE.


    Versions of God are just syncretic creations. Nothing original or actual revelations. Genesis is re-working Mesopotamian stories and the God is no different than older versions.

    God

    Zoroaster went much further, and in a startling departure from accepted beliefs proclaimed Ahura Mazda to be the one uncreated God, existing eternally, and Creator of all else that is good, including all other beneficent divinities. - Persian God, 1600 BCE - Mary Boyce


    Religion, Identity and the Origins of Ancient Israel


    K.L. Sparks, Baptist Pastor, Professor Eastern U.


    As a rule, modern scholars do not believe that the Bible's account of early Israel's history provides a wholly accurate portrait of Israel's origins. One reason for this is that the earliest part of Israel's history in Genesis is now regarded as something other than a work of modern history. Its primary author was at best an ancient historian (if a historian at all), who lived long after the events he narrated, and who drew freely from sources that were not historical (legends and theological stories); he was more concerned with theology than with the modern quest to learn 'what actually happened' (Van Seters 1992; Sparks 2002, pp. 37-71; Maidman 2003). As a result, the stories about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are







    Yes but you also seem unaware of the historicity of the theology.




    Truth is a different topic but the truth here is these are syncretic stories, mythology designed to teach what these people thought were good morals and ethics.
     
    #879 joelr, Dec 6, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2022
  20. joelr

    joelr Well-Known Member

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    Jesus would have lived to the 30's. The gospels began in the 70's and were anonymous. Names added in 2nd century. So thta is way off.


    What 2 different mythologies say is not important.


    No, you haven't demonstrated any Gods are real.


    Regardless the Quran is making unsupported supernatural claims like all the others.


    So you say. Yet you have sourced nothing except a myth. I am sourcing actual experts. As well as in this case the OT. Satan works for God IN THE OT??????

    After the Persian occupation Satan changed to be exactly like the Persian devil. At war with God and humanity and a final battle at the end of the world will settle everything. Not speculation. Basic history.

    During the Second Temple Period, when Jews were living in the Achaemenid Empire, Judaism was heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism, the religion of the Achaemenids.[26][8][27] Jewish conceptions of Satan were impacted by Angra Mainyu,


    In 2 Samuel 24, Yahweh sends the "Angel of Yahweh" to inflict a plague against Israel for three days, killing 70,000 people as punishment for David having taken a census without his approval.[16] 1 Chronicles 21:1 repeats this story,[16] but replaces the "Angel of Yahweh" with an entity referred to as "a satan".[16]

    So much wrong here.
    1)Prove the Eden story is wrong using scholarship, not mythic stories
    2)of course Muslims read Satan is a Jinn. The Quran is a mix of the Bible and Arab mysticism. a Jinn was a myth that was used and believed as real by ancient people in that region. There are no Jinns and there are no devils.
    3)Where in scripture does it say an angel cannot sin?
    I do not care about Jewish and Islamic mythology arguments. They are both fiction.


    God sent Satan to inflict 2 plagues killing 140,000



    Where in scripture does it say that. If that is in the Quran I do not care about cultural myths. Of course the OT is also a myth but if you are going to make claims then source it.



    Uh, Judaism started around 1200 BCE. There were many many underworld devils and demons in myths before that. Do you just believe anything?
     
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