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Featured Looking For A Smart Atheist

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Earthling, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    So, uh . . . as it turns out, I'm looking for a smart open minded atheist to devote . . . probably a few minutes a day, to a consideration - a test of sorts - of the Bible.

    Difficult. Very difficult. Because what I mean by open minded is that the atheist has to be able to see the Bible without their preconceived notions. As a part of this team of Biblical examiners I would have to do the same.

    Can it be done?
     
  2. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can look at anything without, at least, some of your preconceived notions or unconscious bias.
     
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  3. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    The Bible is didactic literature. What are you hoping to prove? Are you trying to prove its history and science? Rambam cleared that up in 1135 AD.
     
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  4. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    Even Daniel Kahneman, who basically won a Nobel prize for his research into bias, admits to bias. So the best you can hope for is to converse with people who acknowledge their biases.

    As to the broader OP, start a thread. You should be able to quickly determine which posters are worth conversing with and which are not.
     
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  5. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Then, I wonder if the question becomes can you look past them. Recognize your preconceived notions and possible unconscious bias.

    Let's take the soul as a quick example. The atheist doesn't believe in the soul. Of course, they don't really know what it is, but in this test it doesn't matter.

    The majority of Christians think the soul is immortal. Ezekiel 18:4.

    So, testing the Bible on the subject of the soul, the Bible determines the soul is mortal. It dies. From there you would test what the soul is, according to the Bible and then . . . does it exist? Simple. Right?
     
  6. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Will your tests have a bias in and of themselves? What will the test consist of? Are you using a particular translation of the Bible? And do you only consider it internally, or do you consider it in relation to the rest of the universe?
     
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  7. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK so far. I'd say that *most* atheists don't believe in a soul, but there are some that do.

    This paragraph was hard to understand. Is your first sentence a statement? are you claiming the Bible does claim the soul is mortal?

    But sure, if the Bible gives a testable definition for 'soul', then we can test to see if it exists. Do you have such a test?
     
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  8. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    So?

    Hmmm . . .

    Not even close. He was too heavily influenced by Aristotle and too critical of Christendom.
     
  9. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    The Jewish sages knew the Torah wasn't history or science.. They knew that prophets weren't future tellers.. They didn't predict the future, they reminded the people of known truths.. That's what Daniel and Isaiah did when they were living 200 years before Christ and writing about events 500 years earlier.
     
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  10. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    That doesn't help me with which ones might be willing to commit to such an endeavor.
     
  11. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Right. I wonder if I should use the term unbeliever? Rather than just atheist . . .

    Yes. Thus the scripture. Ezekiel 18:4 . Matthew 10:28

    Well, that's sort of where the atheist comes in, isn't it?
     
  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    if it's only a few minutes a day and is honest about its methods and goals, I can do it.

    My biases: I do not believe in a supernatural and don't think the word 'supernatural' has any coherent meaning. I am an atheist, in part, because of this.

    I am willing to look at evidence, but I would also like to not be limited in outside pursuit of additional evidence. Addressing issues external to the Bible is an important part of the testing, I think.
     
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  13. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Wait a minute, wait a minute . . . they "knew" this? What do you mean by history?

    So . . . the prophecy of Cyrus didn't, in your estimation, predict the time of Jesus' or the Messiah's coming?
     
  14. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    They were not stupid.. They knew the stories were didactic literature.. teaching narrative.. They did know about the natural world... and they knew about the myths from Babylon, Egypt and the north coast Canaanites.

    What do you think they are ?

    Cyrus did redeem the good figs.. and he was considered a messiah by the Jews.

    You do know that Aristotle lived 1500 years before Rambam, don't you?
     
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  15. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Hmmm . . . I don't recall the two of us having many exchanges which could mean you're smart enough.

    [Long Drawn Out Contemplative Sigh] Could it be that easy?!

    Since it's a forum you can devote whatever amount of time necessary at your leisure.

    The method is like the television show House M.D. Informed people stabbing in the dark for the most likely helpful conclusion. But, since it's geared towards your conclusion rather than mine, it's honesty is primarily up to you. If I see that compromised it'd just be over. Same would apply if you were having an issue with my honesty.

    The goal is to see what you come up with. Honestly and fairly.

    What do you mean though, that you don't think the word supernatural has any coherent meaning? That's problematic from the start, don't you think? Especially given your insistence on external. What does that mean? Well, I mean, to what extent?
     
  16. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    i could be considered a christian atheist. i don't believe in a god, or gods, unlike yourself.
     
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  17. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    You're sure about that?

    First of all, that they "knew" that you haven't established very well, secondly, just because something is teaching or instructional doesn't mean it isn't true.

    So?

    Truth.

    I'm talking about the prophecy that said this many years from Cyrus' decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah (baptism) would be 483 years.



    Maimonides was born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1135. Are we not talking about the same person?
     
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  18. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Both seem to say that souls *can* die (if they are destroyed by God), but I don't see where it says they *must* die. My understanding of the term 'immortal' would not be that death is impossible, but rather that it isn't the typical order of things. Many mythologies have the death of otherwise immortal beings.
     
  19. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Dani'el is very old.. its a poem from coastal Syria about 1500 BC.. too good a story not to be incorporated into the OT..

    Both Daniel and Isaiah prophesied Vaticinium ex eventu ..
     
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  20. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK, so you aren't suggesting the tests, but want me to do so?

    I thought *you* were going to suggest some tests and I was going to either do them or suggest modifications until I agree they would give the information you want.

    Well, part of the issue is what it means to be 'natural'. Anything detectable by 'natural means' would, as far as i can tell, be natural by default. That is why, for example, we consider neutrinos to be 'natural'.

    So the very notion of 'testing' the supernatural seems to be contrary to the concept. To be testable seems, to me, to mean the tested thing is natural.

    So, to move forward, what do you mean by 'supernatural'? How would we test to see if some phenomenon is due to 'supernatural' influences?
     
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