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Author Topic: Chris Hitchens and the morality of Jesus  (Read 3154 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2010, 08:48:08 PM »

  Jesus is not dead, He is God or He is nothing at all.  Unless Jesus is God, then He never even existed, aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures, there is no strictly historical Jesus.  So come off it, if you don't believe in our Jesus, don't pretend you believe in the real historical Jesus and we believe in a myth.  Jesus is no myth.  He is not coming some time in the future like some pie in the sky duppy ghost-God, ...

I value greatly the contributions you've given to this forum. However, if you mean what I think you mean, I do have pet-peeve.

People (non-Christian) try to say there never was a "Jesus". There are some historical evidence to support Jesus, which I've brought up on this forum before. Even if one isn't going to deny or dismiss those sources, there was still the Apostles. We have lots of historical evidence of them. Who did they follow? 
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« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2010, 09:03:00 PM »



Greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!

On a recent debate that can be viewed here (part 4). Christopher Hitchens asserts that Jesus is (1) an amoral prophet because of his insistence to "drop and leave life and family for him, because only he can save you from the end of the world, and (2) it is "disgusting" for anyone to claim that a person or a god would take all responsibility for wrongs requiring no moral consequence of actions.

The debater rarely tried to debate, so I'm asking you to debate this.

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Perhaps these vitriolic, hate-mongers who are confused at best, and nefarious at worst, should meet Jesus Christ directly and turn to Him, rather than analyzing, postulating, theorizing, discussing, debating, interpreting, guessing, doubting, arguing etc etc etc

Well, have your Jesus fellow come on down and we can have a little chit-chat. Oh, that's right he's dead and he ain't coming back. See, that's the problem with religion, whenever you ask for real evidence...if Jesus exists as a deity, he should have no problem coming down and having a little chat...there's some convoluted excuse why that can't happen. The logical answer is that Jesus won't come talk to us because he's been dead for 2000 years, but the Christian explanation is that he just showed up for a few years in some backwater of the Roman Empire before modern media or even the printing press, then left and is expecting people 2000 years later to believe he's a god without leaving any credible evidence or bothering to come on by for the occasional visit. If this Jesus-god exists, he'd make Loki look like a sane and rational entity in comparison.

Listen, I'm only taking your troll bait because it too easy.  Jesus is not dead, He is God or He is nothing at all.  Unless Jesus is God, then He never even existed, aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures, there is no strictly historical Jesus.  So come off it, if you don't believe in our Jesus, don't pretend you believe in the real historical Jesus and we believe in a myth.  Jesus is no myth.  He is not coming some time in the future like some pie in the sky duppy ghost-God, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He exists right now, in the here and now, and if you call His name and seek Him sincerely in your heart, He will show up quicker than Candyman in the mirror Wink

But if you doubt Him that is fine, He can't deny himself, and in His time, He will unveil Himself to you.  I don't need to preach you a sermon or teach you anything, God is strong enough to show you Himself.  This Jesus-God not only exists, but He draws every single (even wasted) breath into our lungs, and brings together all of the 26 fundamental forces of the Multiverse into the harmony of the Goldilocks Principle and thus He does not ever need to show Himself to you, as He is always on display.  God is like the wind, and faith is like putting smoke or incense on the wind to see the direction in which it is coming and going. 

I'm not staking any money on the existence of an historical Jesus, but it's more likely than not that such a person exists and that the Gospels have at least a tangential relation to what he believed and taught. Making up a story like that 30-40 years after the fact would probably just be a bit too much.

As for him still being alive, well you know my take, but I guess we'll see. Since he hasn't bothered to show himself in 2000 years, I wouldn't hold my breath.


Quote
Communist countries corrected themselves in time, demonstrating common values with the rest of the world. Now as for people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Jong-il...'savage group of half-breeds' hardly does them justice, they obviously suffered from severe cases of genetic psychological abnormalities, they were people who could not function properly in a normal social setting.
By the way, please don't ever mix up Uncle Ho with those madman, there is a difference.  First and foremost, the Vietminh were not communists, they were socialists, and secondly Ho Chi Mihn was not a mad-man dictator, he was a national hero.  You know the North Vietnamese were the only "communist" nation to END a famine and save a million lives rather than cause one and kill a million like Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Mengistu and Jong-Il etc etc?  Ho Chi Minh was a true patriot and a hero, he was no puppet or genocidal mad-man.. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well, I'll admit I never knew the guy, but I know plenty of people who spent years in labor camps and who's parents, siblings, and children were murdered by his regime in cold blood. And this isn't even counting what he did during the war. This was retaliation for either having fought with the lawful government in Saigon for the Freedom of Vietnam or having tried to leave Uncle Ho's hell hole following the cowardly American retreat from the country.
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« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2010, 09:04:55 PM »

  Jesus is not dead, He is God or He is nothing at all.  Unless Jesus is God, then He never even existed, aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures, there is no strictly historical Jesus.  So come off it, if you don't believe in our Jesus, don't pretend you believe in the real historical Jesus and we believe in a myth.  Jesus is no myth.  He is not coming some time in the future like some pie in the sky duppy ghost-God, ...

I value greatly the contributions you've given to this forum. However, if you mean what I think you mean, I do have pet-peeve.

People (non-Christian) try to say there never was a "Jesus". There are some historical evidence to support Jesus, which I've brought up on this forum before. Even if one isn't going to deny or dismiss those sources, there was still the Apostles. We have lots of historical evidence of them. Who did they follow? 

I must disagree, there is no substantial historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures.  This does not invalidate these evidence of Jesus' existence in history, but my point was that there is no historical Jesus separate from our faithful tradition which asserts rightfully the Jesus is God Almighty.  Please, find me some non-Church historical evidence, there is none except for circumstantial or suggestive.  My point was not to discredit Jesus, but rather to take away the ammo from the skeptics and the atheists.  Many skeptics say that we Christians have it all wrong, that we made up a myth around a real historical person, and so imply that they know the real Jesus and we are acquainted with a lie.  That is silly and naive.  I have had many conversations about this rhetorical Jesus and they are heedlessly pointless.  It is irrelevant to discuss Jesus Christ outside of the context of the Church, period.  If you do not accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, inevitably you are not talking about a real or existing Jesus, rather a figment of the imagination because the only real Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.

Faith is the substance of things unseen.  A person does not hope for what he sees, but what he does not yet see.  Jesus Christ, to be sure, is realer than real, but I for one refuse to patronize trolls and skeptics with woulda coulda shoulda rhetorical Jesuses.  Jesus is both God and Man, and nothing more, nothing less.  Further, we do not need evidence of Jesus to know Him, for He is real, active and living, and can speak for Himself across all generations, He does not need witnesses, we only truly witness to convince ourselves, not others.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2010, 09:15:36 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm not staking any money on the existence of an historical Jesus, but it's more likely than not that such a person exists and that the Gospels have at least a tangential relation to what he believed and taught. Making up a story like that 30-40 years after the fact would probably just be a bit too much.

As for him still being alive, well you know my take, but I guess we'll see. Since he hasn't bothered to show himself in 2000 years, I wouldn't hold my breath.



Communist countries corrected themselves in time, demonstrating common values with the rest of the world. Now as for people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Jong-il...'savage group of half-breeds' hardly does them justice, they obviously suffered from severe cases of genetic psychological abnormalities, they were people who could not function properly in a normal social setting.
By the way, please don't ever mix up Uncle Ho with those madman, there is a difference.  First and foremost, the Vietminh were not communists, they were socialists, and secondly Ho Chi Mihn was not a mad-man dictator, he was a national hero.  You know the North Vietnamese were the only "communist" nation to END a famine and save a million lives rather than cause one and kill a million like Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Mengistu and Jong-Il etc etc?  Ho Chi Minh was a true patriot and a hero, he was no puppet or genocidal mad-man.. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well, I'll admit I never knew the guy, but I know plenty of people who spent years in labor camps and who's parents, siblings, and children were murdered by his regime in cold blood. And this isn't even counting what he did during the war. This was retaliation for either having fought with the lawful government in Saigon for the Freedom of Vietnam or having tried to leave Uncle Ho's hell hole following the cowardly American retreat from the country.
[/quote]

a) I told you before, either the Gospels tell the truth entirely, or they are entirely made up as fiction.  Why would you half believe someone? If the Gospels made up the divinity, why would you trust any other of their testimony? Either accept the entire truth, or reject it in whole, but you can not be lukewarm, you can not pick and chose Christ.  We have plenty of tangible history from the first century, and yet none outside of the Church regarding Jesus.  So take it or leave it, but please don't insult us by taking your own interpretations and rejecting the source of your information.  The Church tells you of the existence of Jesus, so please, take our word for it regarding His divinity, or better yet, just ask Him yourself Wink

b) War is hell, it does not make sense, but you should make sure you get your sources correct.  I too know many Vietnamese families, and those who suffered by the North had aligned themselves with the wrong side, and in the end lost that war. They were not necessarily targeted, that war was equally hard on all sides involved.  But this should not make the North war criminals or savages, after all that is what my country the US was when it rained down endless bombs and planted generations worth of land mines and invested billions to prop up war criminals and greedy generals.  The South Vietnamese government used more assassinations, more war-crimes, more rapes, more robberies as tactics of war then the North did, and the propaganda against the North prevailed.  Look into it a bit more, Vietnam history is exceedingly complicated.. There was never a lawful government in South Vietnam, and the North Vietnam did not use murder as a retaliation tactic, most people spend a few months in these "rehabilitation camps" where they were released relatively unharmed.  The real murderers were the bandits and madmen who greedily took all the handouts from the US to have their puppet dictatorship in the South. More people disappeared daily in Saigon during the "South Vietnam" days then after the "fall" to the North.. The North were not the boogie men, Diem and his replacements and the US bombers and Nixon were scary enough for that Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2010, 09:17:18 PM »

  Jesus is not dead, He is God or He is nothing at all.  Unless Jesus is God, then He never even existed, aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures, there is no strictly historical Jesus.  So come off it, if you don't believe in our Jesus, don't pretend you believe in the real historical Jesus and we believe in a myth.  Jesus is no myth.  He is not coming some time in the future like some pie in the sky duppy ghost-God, ...

I value greatly the contributions you've given to this forum. However, if you mean what I think you mean, I do have pet-peeve.

People (non-Christian) try to say there never was a "Jesus". There are some historical evidence to support Jesus, which I've brought up on this forum before. Even if one isn't going to deny or dismiss those sources, there was still the Apostles. We have lots of historical evidence of them. Who did they follow? 

I must disagree, there is no substantial historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures.  This does not invalidate these evidence of Jesus' existence in history, but my point was that there is no historical Jesus separate from our faithful tradition which asserts rightfully the Jesus is God Almighty.  Please, find me some non-Church historical evidence, there is none except for circumstantial or suggestive.  My point was not to discredit Jesus, but rather to take away the ammo from the skeptics and the atheists.  Many skeptics say that we Christians have it all wrong, that we made up a myth around a real historical person, and so imply that they know the real Jesus and we are acquainted with a lie.  That is silly and naive.  I have had many conversations about this rhetorical Jesus and they are heedlessly pointless.  It is irrelevant to discuss Jesus Christ outside of the context of the Church, period.  If you do not accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, inevitably you are not talking about a real or existing Jesus, rather a figment of the imagination because the only real Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.

Faith is the substance of things unseen.  A person does not hope for what he sees, but what he does not yet see.  Jesus Christ, to be sure, is realer than real, but I for one refuse to patronize trolls and skeptics with woulda coulda shoulda rhetorical Jesuses.  Jesus is both God and Man, and nothing more, nothing less.  Further, we do not need evidence of Jesus to know Him, for He is real, active and living, and can speak for Himself across all generations, He does not need witnesses, we only truly witness to convince ourselves, not others.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I find there is more argument when people try to say He never existed, like the Book of Mormon. Therefore, I refuse to deny his true presence as a man on Earth


Previous post:

Well, I think it also depends on how far a person pursues a given line of evidence and what aspects they wish to emphasize as well (which may involve bias). For example, many christians like to point out how many copies of the new testament writings exist, the accuracy of the copyist transmissions, the dates of the writings surrounding the events, etc. to bolster the evidence and to give it unique credibility.

I would agree. It gives it direction and point. Its not really going to convince anyone but it does give an area of debate.

Also, going back to the days of my atheism I read that a lot of people say Jesus never existed due to little evidence of him. I brought it up to a Catholic who said "there is a religion based in his name, and in full swing, less than 100 years after his death, is that not evidence?" Which cleared it up for me. It doesn't prove a thing, but it does raise a good point.

That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

Here:
Quote
"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.

"He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day"
(Antiquities, XVIII, III). [Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, born in A.D. 37]

Quote
"derived their name and origin from Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, had suffered death by the sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate"
(Annals 15.44) Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 CE)

Quote
On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth--manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. (XVIII.1)
Julius Africanus, History of the World, c. 220 - concerning Thallus (c. 50-75 AD)


Others:
-Letter from Pliny the Younger to Trajan (c. 110)
-Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125)
-Lucian (mid-2nd century)
-Galen (c.150; De pulsuum differentiis 2.4; 3.3)
-Celsus (True Discourse, c.170).
-Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)
-Talmudic References (written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses)

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« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2010, 09:26:24 PM »

But how do you know that what you were taught is right? How do you know that your standards are tenable? What is it about your feelings that reassure you that you're acting by the right code of conduct?

How is it that near everyone has the same knowledge about ethics? It's almost like there is some Natural Moral Law.

I think most Christians would argue, or at least I would, that murder is wrong because human life is sacred. Why is human life sacred?

It should be a great mystery to you as to how, exactly, so many authors, over centuries, managed to write such a cohesive document. It's so cohesive, in fact, that it has withstood all these years of vicious scrutiny. Second, we're pretty certain about our Greek and Hebrew translations. It's not that difficult to translate, you just have to be careful to comprehend the various contexts within their language.

The history of human morality has not been as consistent as you seem to want to think, even things such as rape and murder have not been consistently condemned throughout history. However, I will grant that under 'ideal conditions' (our bellies are full, we're in no immediate danger, and we have an optimistic outlook on our future or at least the future of our tribe) we have a tendency towards a certain 'moral code'; but it's not one that should be surprising, it's a code of civil order that allows the tribe to most effectively interact and cooperate advancing its own survival. In our evolutionary past, a tribe of humans that was constantly in-fighting and bickering would not have been able to cooperate and pool labor and resources in the manner needed to survive difficult situations.

Different people come up with similar ideas of how societies should function because they have been genetically programmed into us through evolution. Those with substantially different concepts tended to die out and not pass their genes on to their offspring.
Explain how your enlightened Europeans, who aren't reproducing and are dying out with their negative birthrate, are going to overcome the Islamist Eurabians.

Science.

Extinct nations produce no scientists.
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« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2010, 10:09:40 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I'm not staking any money on the existence of an historical Jesus, but it's more likely than not that such a person exists and that the Gospels have at least a tangential relation to what he believed and taught. Making up a story like that 30-40 years after the fact would probably just be a bit too much.

As for him still being alive, well you know my take, but I guess we'll see. Since he hasn't bothered to show himself in 2000 years, I wouldn't hold my breath.



Communist countries corrected themselves in time, demonstrating common values with the rest of the world. Now as for people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Jong-il...'savage group of half-breeds' hardly does them justice, they obviously suffered from severe cases of genetic psychological abnormalities, they were people who could not function properly in a normal social setting.
By the way, please don't ever mix up Uncle Ho with those madman, there is a difference.  First and foremost, the Vietminh were not communists, they were socialists, and secondly Ho Chi Mihn was not a mad-man dictator, he was a national hero.  You know the North Vietnamese were the only "communist" nation to END a famine and save a million lives rather than cause one and kill a million like Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Mengistu and Jong-Il etc etc?  Ho Chi Minh was a true patriot and a hero, he was no puppet or genocidal mad-man.. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well, I'll admit I never knew the guy, but I know plenty of people who spent years in labor camps and who's parents, siblings, and children were murdered by his regime in cold blood. And this isn't even counting what he did during the war. This was retaliation for either having fought with the lawful government in Saigon for the Freedom of Vietnam or having tried to leave Uncle Ho's hell hole following the cowardly American retreat from the country.

a) I told you before, either the Gospels tell the truth entirely, or they are entirely made up as fiction.  Why would you half believe someone? If the Gospels made up the divinity, why would you trust any other of their testimony? Either accept the entire truth, or reject it in whole, but you can not be lukewarm, you can not pick and chose Christ.  We have plenty of tangible history from the first century, and yet none outside of the Church regarding Jesus.  So take it or leave it, but please don't insult us by taking your own interpretations and rejecting the source of your information.  The Church tells you of the existence of Jesus, so please, take our word for it regarding His divinity, or better yet, just ask Him yourself Wink
[/quote]

And you don't think that it's just a little too convenient that you have no tangible evidence from the modern era and yet this isn't a problem to anyone? Maybe I ask too much, but I need just a little more.

Quote
b) War is hell, it does not make sense, but you should make sure you get your sources correct.  I too know many Vietnamese families, and those who suffered by the North had aligned themselves with the wrong side, and in the end lost that war. They were not necessarily targeted, that war was equally hard on all sides involved.  But this should not make the North war criminals or savages, after all that is what my country the US was when it rained down endless bombs and planted generations worth of land mines and invested billions to prop up war criminals and greedy generals.  The South Vietnamese government used more assassinations, more war-crimes, more rapes, more robberies as tactics of war then the North did, and the propaganda against the North prevailed.  Look into it a bit more, Vietnam history is exceedingly complicated.. There was never a lawful government in South Vietnam, and the North Vietnam did not use murder as a retaliation tactic, most people spend a few months in these "rehabilitation camps" where they were released relatively unharmed.  The real murderers were the bandits and madmen who greedily took all the handouts from the US to have their puppet dictatorship in the South. More people disappeared daily in Saigon during the "South Vietnam" days then after the "fall" to the North.. The North were not the boogie men, Diem and his replacements and the US bombers and Nixon were scary enough for that Wink

Interesting, the only people I knew from North Vietnam had fled south, one of whom was a translator attached to a U.S. Intel unit, I was told he was given a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army but I don't know if my friend, his son, was confused and he had a commission in the South Vietnamese army and was attached to a U.S. unit. I would have thought that those from the north, having won the war and all, would have been happy to stay in Vietnam, with this one exception every Vietnamese person I've know was born in the South...or their parents were. And I don't know where you've gotten your information from, but after the US retreated from Vietnam there were witch hunts throughout the south, everyone involved in the State Department or with a military rank of Colonel or above had to get out of Vietnam or face a death squad. Yeah, most peasants who had fought for the south in the enlisted ranks got a couple months in a labour camp and were set free, but a lot of people were hunted down and murdered. And I know of women and even their children who because of associations with higher ranking members of the South Vietnamese government were thrown in labour camps for much longer than a few months, but several years. And of many who's only crime was trying to escape Vietnam who were thrown in labour camps for years. Then, of course, there was the treatment of American and South Vietnamese POW's which was manifestly in contradiction to the Articles of war.

Now, I'm not defending the United States over there nearly everything we did was dishonourable, from refusing to invade the north and deal a decisive death blow to the communist government to our cowardly retreat and abandonment of our allies (about the only thing we did right was send troops over there to fight, everything that followed was nearly inexcusable). And there may have been some limited corruption in the government of the South Vietnam. However, the fact that Vietnam is still a third world country (or, just maybe, barely a developing country at this point) should more than demonstrate the corruption and failure of the North. Granted, things started (very slowly) improving with Linh in the late 80's, the country is showing even more promise today under Mạnh, and I hope for the best. But I have little doubt that had we stayed the course and properly defended our ally, South Vietnam would have an economy and society more akin to South Korea or Taiwan today. The harm the communists (combined with American cowardice) caused to two generations of Vietnamese citizens is simply inexcusable.
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« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2010, 10:22:27 PM »

Science.

Praise be to Science!
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« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2010, 10:32:51 PM »

Are we supposed to have Jesus' fingerprints on something? They didn't even collect fingerprints back then. Of course fingertips existed, but there was no Sherlock Holmes running around with powder and brushes and cards.  Roll Eyes There was no video, no audio footage... writing was all they had, and often consisted of secretaries transcribing things for you. So why wouldn't writing be proof?  Huh
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2010, 10:35:52 PM »

Are we supposed to have Jesus' fingerprints on something? They didn't even collect fingerprints back then. Of course fingertips existed, but there was no Sherlock Holmes running around with powder and brushes and cards.  Roll Eyes There was no video, no audio footage... writing was all they had, and often consisted of secretaries transcribing things for you. So why wouldn't writing be proof?  Huh

I'm just saying, isn't it a little convenient that he came at that particular point in history and not one with a better understanding of science and more modern media?
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2010, 10:50:04 PM »

No.
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« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2010, 10:58:30 PM »

Of course not...
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« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2010, 01:12:12 AM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Now, I'm not defending the United States over there nearly everything we did was dishonourable, from refusing to invade the north and deal a decisive death blow to the communist government to our cowardly retreat and abandonment of our allies (about the only thing we did right was send troops over there to fight, everything that followed was nearly inexcusable). And there may have been some limited corruption in the government of the South Vietnam. However, the fact that Vietnam is still a third world country (or, just maybe, barely a developing country at this point) should more than demonstrate the corruption and failure of the North. Granted, things started (very slowly) improving with Linh in the late 80's, the country is showing even more promise today under Mạnh, and I hope for the best. But I have little doubt that had we stayed the course and properly defended our ally, South Vietnam would have an economy and society more akin to South Korea or Taiwan today. The harm the communists (combined with American cowardice) caused to two generations of Vietnamese citizens is simply inexcusable.

I'm only continuing this chat about Vietnam because you are presenting a lot of intelligent and well informed points and because Hitchens is so absurd we might as well discuss something with more substance, however these politics might get us both warned, but my reputation could sustain it, people have found me quite useful lately.

You fundamentally misunderstand Vietnam.  First, today it is one of the rising tigers in Asia, a region always on the rise, and remains a developing country still as a result of the war, there are tens of thousands of kids with crazy diseases, there are millions of unexploded ordinances which still kill and maim people, and of course Vietnam had that terrible war to clean up the US mess in Cambodia.  These things were expensive to a country that was poor and had to spend all its resources in a 25 year was of attrition against the world's wealthiest superpower! You truly underestimate the Vietnamese (not in America, but at home).  The South Vietnamese government was always a fraud, and entirely by exploitative, murderous gangsters who were call affiliated with the CIA and the US military.  They relied on terror and totalitarianism to control the supposed "South Vietnam" The truth is there never was a South Vietnam.  Aside from a few cities, the "South Vietnamese" government nor the US never controlled much of anything.  The vast majority of Vietnamese people supported unification and were fundamentally against the South Vietnamese regime of thugs and generals, that is why the "Vietcong" found so much popular support? How else did you suppose that the guerrillas defeated one of the most powerful military campaigns in the history of the world? This is precisely why the US had to pull out of Vietnam after being there since 1945..

 You said that the US should have dealt a decisive death blow, no such thing could have existed.  The US dropped more tonnage of bombs on Vietnam (North and South), Laos and Cambodia then in World War II and Korea combined.  There is literally nothing else we could have done but retreat and why? Because we simply never should have been there.  The vast majority of people supported the "North", those 2 million folks who fled were all affiliated with the South Vietnamese military government and an overwhelming amount of those were conscripted by force (ie, they really didn't want to fight in the war, they were forced by the brutally thuggish regime in the South).  The "North" and the "Vietcong" guerrillas in the South did rely upon assassinations, bombings, and other dirty tactics but no more than the South thug regime used against its own people to coerce them to fight.  Diem used the military to force migrate millions of people in the Villagification programs that resulted in famine, disaster.. Diem and his successors used hit squads and US air strikes to intimidate southerns to follow the plan and forced them at gun point to abandon their ancestral homes including cemeteries which were the rural Vietnamese reliquaries.  It was all by force.  The retaliation by the North after the "Fall" has been completely overblown, it was not a large scale persecution, most people went to jail for a bit (not saying this was right) but in reality no more oppressive than the previous "South Vietnam" government had been..  The folks who fled to the US were afraid, had been intimidated, and also were refuges from the subsequent war with Cambodia.  You have to remember the the supposed boogie men of the North are the only ones who stepped in and stopped insane Pol Pot when the US had only been content to bomb Cambodia and then give Pol Pot billions in armaments to fight the Vietnamese..

Like I said, its complicated.  I do not support the bad things that North Vietnam did, but it must be understood in the context of war, and must always understand that both the US and the puppet thug regime in South Vietnam were actually the worse evil.  If the North Vietnamese were so terrible, how do so many hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese expatriates who live in the US travel back and forth to Vietnam with no trouble or fear?  I told you, the war with Cambodia did more to create the boat people crises than the "Fall of Saigon", the US just pumped up the propaganda machine to continue to make the villain of the North.  But no more of this, lets get back to Orthodox.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2010, 10:54:50 AM »

That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

You haven't yet provided a single reference for this claim. All you've done is provide quotes from people living 50-300 years later, who are basically just reporting that other people claim that Jesus existed.
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« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2010, 11:00:11 AM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Now, I'm not defending the United States over there nearly everything we did was dishonourable, from refusing to invade the north and deal a decisive death blow to the communist government to our cowardly retreat and abandonment of our allies (about the only thing we did right was send troops over there to fight, everything that followed was nearly inexcusable). And there may have been some limited corruption in the government of the South Vietnam. However, the fact that Vietnam is still a third world country (or, just maybe, barely a developing country at this point) should more than demonstrate the corruption and failure of the North. Granted, things started (very slowly) improving with Linh in the late 80's, the country is showing even more promise today under Mạnh, and I hope for the best. But I have little doubt that had we stayed the course and properly defended our ally, South Vietnam would have an economy and society more akin to South Korea or Taiwan today. The harm the communists (combined with American cowardice) caused to two generations of Vietnamese citizens is simply inexcusable.

I'm only continuing this chat about Vietnam because you are presenting a lot of intelligent and well informed points and because Hitchens is so absurd we might as well discuss something with more substance, however these politics might get us both warned, but my reputation could sustain it, people have found me quite useful lately.

You fundamentally misunderstand Vietnam.  First, today it is one of the rising tigers in Asia, a region always on the rise, and remains a developing country still as a result of the war, there are tens of thousands of kids with crazy diseases, there are millions of unexploded ordinances which still kill and maim people, and of course Vietnam had that terrible war to clean up the US mess in Cambodia.  These things were expensive to a country that was poor and had to spend all its resources in a 25 year was of attrition against the world's wealthiest superpower! You truly underestimate the Vietnamese (not in America, but at home).  The South Vietnamese government was always a fraud, and entirely by exploitative, murderous gangsters who were call affiliated with the CIA and the US military.  They relied on terror and totalitarianism to control the supposed "South Vietnam" The truth is there never was a South Vietnam.  Aside from a few cities, the "South Vietnamese" government nor the US never controlled much of anything.  The vast majority of Vietnamese people supported unification and were fundamentally against the South Vietnamese regime of thugs and generals, that is why the "Vietcong" found so much popular support? How else did you suppose that the guerrillas defeated one of the most powerful military campaigns in the history of the world? This is precisely why the US had to pull out of Vietnam after being there since 1945..

 You said that the US should have dealt a decisive death blow, no such thing could have existed.  The US dropped more tonnage of bombs on Vietnam (North and South), Laos and Cambodia then in World War II and Korea combined.  There is literally nothing else we could have done but retreat and why? Because we simply never should have been there.  The vast majority of people supported the "North", those 2 million folks who fled were all affiliated with the South Vietnamese military government and an overwhelming amount of those were conscripted by force (ie, they really didn't want to fight in the war, they were forced by the brutally thuggish regime in the South).  The "North" and the "Vietcong" guerrillas in the South did rely upon assassinations, bombings, and other dirty tactics but no more than the South thug regime used against its own people to coerce them to fight.  Diem used the military to force migrate millions of people in the Villagification programs that resulted in famine, disaster.. Diem and his successors used hit squads and US air strikes to intimidate southerns to follow the plan and forced them at gun point to abandon their ancestral homes including cemeteries which were the rural Vietnamese reliquaries.  It was all by force.  The retaliation by the North after the "Fall" has been completely overblown, it was not a large scale persecution, most people went to jail for a bit (not saying this was right) but in reality no more oppressive than the previous "South Vietnam" government had been..  The folks who fled to the US were afraid, had been intimidated, and also were refuges from the subsequent war with Cambodia.  You have to remember the the supposed boogie men of the North are the only ones who stepped in and stopped insane Pol Pot when the US had only been content to bomb Cambodia and then give Pol Pot billions in armaments to fight the Vietnamese..

Like I said, its complicated.  I do not support the bad things that North Vietnam did, but it must be understood in the context of war, and must always understand that both the US and the puppet thug regime in South Vietnam were actually the worse evil.  If the North Vietnamese were so terrible, how do so many hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese expatriates who live in the US travel back and forth to Vietnam with no trouble or fear?  I told you, the war with Cambodia did more to create the boat people crises than the "Fall of Saigon", the US just pumped up the propaganda machine to continue to make the villain of the North.  But no more of this, lets get back to Orthodox.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I have to say, as far as bomb droppage goes, it's not as simple as tonnage. That's something the "Wiz kids" would have said. The conflict was micromanaged from the White House with more restrictions than doped-up pedo on probation. The US was terrified of escalating relations with Russia (who were supporting the North), and therefore was, truly, only marginally committed to winning, as far as the military is concerned. By the time we started committing our full efforts, the North had adapted, and our desire and morale to win was severely depleted.
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« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2010, 11:02:02 AM »

That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

You haven't yet provided a single reference for this claim. All you've done is provide quotes from people living 50-300 years later, who are basically just reporting that other people claim that Jesus existed.

Secondary sources are better than Third! ... or modern claims ...

The only primary sources that are available is the Apostles and the Bible... but we don't trust those.

EDIT: The references are included...
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 11:03:15 AM by Azurestone » Logged


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« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2010, 01:19:47 PM »

That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

You haven't yet provided a single reference for this claim. All you've done is provide quotes from people living 50-300 years later, who are basically just reporting that other people claim that Jesus existed.
The only primary sources that are available is the Apostles and the Bible... but we don't trust those.

Now you're on to something  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2010, 02:33:08 PM »

I'm only continuing this chat about Vietnam because you are presenting a lot of intelligent and well informed points and because Hitchens is so absurd we might as well discuss something with more substance, however these politics might get us both warned, but my reputation could sustain it, people have found me quite useful lately.

It's not really politics, it's history...though the country still has several shortcomings, it's a different country than it was prior to the Đổi mới reforms.

Quote
You fundamentally misunderstand Vietnam.  First, today it is one of the rising tigers in Asia, a region always on the rise, and remains a developing country still as a result of the war, there are tens of thousands of kids with crazy diseases, there are millions of unexploded ordinances which still kill and maim people, and of course Vietnam had that terrible war to clean up the US mess in Cambodia.  These things were expensive to a country that was poor and had to spend all its resources in a 25 year was of attrition against the world's wealthiest superpower! You truly underestimate the Vietnamese (not in America, but at home).

No, I don't think I do. From the analyses I've read Vietnam is on track to become one of the world's 20 largest economies in the next 15 years; this is dependent, of course, on the government keeping up the pace of privatization and substantial reductions to the public sector of the economy. But they're making good progress, they've privatized the majority of the financial sector and even opened the economy to multinational banks, something that was previously slowing down growth in several sectors of the economy (most notably, heavy industry).

Of course, the problem is that this economic development should have begun in the 60's, not the late 80's. The imposition of a planned economy on Vietnam from 1975 to 1986 was, in and of itself, a crime against humanity. Despite the war perpetrated against the country by the communists and despite the deliberate economic devastation imposed by them, the Vietnamese people have done well for themselves, they are a remarkable, resourceful, and hard working people...well, at least the ones in the South are; I've always been told how the northerners are lazy. Wink But had Vietnam been given the chance for peace and a market economy in the 60's, I have little doubt that their economy would be second only to Japan's in Asia (China might have been able to catch up in the last few years, but considering their size and population, they should be doing much better than they are).

Quote
The South Vietnamese government was always a fraud, and entirely by exploitative, murderous gangsters who were call affiliated with the CIA and the US military.  They relied on terror and totalitarianism to control the supposed "South Vietnam" The truth is there never was a South Vietnam.  Aside from a few cities, the "South Vietnamese" government nor the US never controlled much of anything.  The vast majority of Vietnamese people supported unification and were fundamentally against the South Vietnamese regime of thugs and generals, that is why the "Vietcong" found so much popular support? How else did you suppose that the guerrillas defeated one of the most powerful military campaigns in the history of the world? This is precisely why the US had to pull out of Vietnam after being there since 1945..

Everyone eventually wanted unification, just not under communist rule, there's a reason that during the 300 days following the Geneva Accords over a million Vietnamese fled to the South, despite independent observers reporting that many were forced to stay in the north against their will, with only a nominal number moving north. While there were local areas of malcontents in the south, the communists did not have the support you suggest...and they most certainly didn't have it amongst the intellectual and professional classes in Vietnam.

Quote
You said that the US should have dealt a decisive death blow, no such thing could have existed.  The US dropped more tonnage of bombs on Vietnam (North and South), Laos and Cambodia then in World War II and Korea combined.  There is literally nothing else we could have done but retreat and why? Because we simply never should have been there. 

Ummm...there's a lot more we could have done. War's are won by control of logistics and we failed miserably in that account. Yes, we dropped a lot of bombs and won battles with front line troops, but none of that matters if you don't take control of supply lines. Traditionally, supply lines were pretty straightforward, in asymmetrical warfare, they're a bit more complicated. We should have invaded North Vietnam early on, secured Hanoi, and moved to secure the border crossings with China. This in combination with our naval blockade would have denied the communists arms, food, and other supplies, effectively crushing the resistance. Of course, there's a good chance we would have had to engage in at least a localized conflict with China...same set up as Korea...

Of course, had we sent troops into China in '49 to support Chiang Kai-shek...everything would have been a lot easier. Our failure to do that was probably the greatest foreign policy mistake the US made in the 20th century and, perhaps, even in the history of our country.

Quote
The vast majority of people supported the "North", those 2 million folks who fled were all affiliated with the South Vietnamese military government and an overwhelming amount of those were conscripted by force (ie, they really didn't want to fight in the war, they were forced by the brutally thuggish regime in the South).  The "North" and the "Vietcong" guerrillas in the South did rely upon assassinations, bombings, and other dirty tactics but no more than the South thug regime used against its own people to coerce them to fight.  Diem used the military to force migrate millions of people in the Villagification programs that resulted in famine, disaster.. Diem and his successors used hit squads and US air strikes to intimidate southerns to follow the plan and forced them at gun point to abandon their ancestral homes including cemeteries which were the rural Vietnamese reliquaries.  It was all by force.

And the communists eliminated resistance by murdering the members of all other parties, murdering other communists who may not agree with them (e.g. Trotskyists), and outlawing any other political party in 1945-1947. And you can add to that the mass murder of the land owners in the north in the mid '50's (and by land owner, what they really meant was, in addition to the productive people, any intellectual, professional, or otherwise educated individual who wasn't a member of the communist party).

The government in the South may not have been perfect, Diem certainly wasn't. It's most unfortunate that unification couldn't have occurred under Bảo Đại. But they were no more thugs than the communists and at least they were thugs that allowed market based economics. Under the south the Vietnamese economy could have begun to grow and the people prosper in the 60's...instead of being forced to stagnate until the late 80's on account of communist military aggression followed by more than a decade of deliberate sabotage of the Vietnamese economy.

Quote
The retaliation by the North after the "Fall" has been completely overblown, it was not a large scale persecution, most people went to jail for a bit (not saying this was right) but in reality no more oppressive than the previous "South Vietnam" government had been..  The folks who fled to the US were afraid, had been intimidated, and also were refuges from the subsequent war with Cambodia.  You have to remember the the supposed boogie men of the North are the only ones who stepped in and stopped insane Pol Pot when the US had only been content to bomb Cambodia and then give Pol Pot billions in armaments to fight the Vietnamese..

I think we know different people from Vietnam. They weren't all just thrown in jail for a few months, a friend of mine's grandfather who served as a Colonel in the ARVN and murdered by a communist death squad...no trial, not accused of any thing, simply murdered because he was an enemy soldier in direct violation of the Geneva convention. Any field or flag grade officer, medium to high ranking member of the government of the Republic of Vietnam, or medium to large scale landowner had to get out or risk summary execution.

Just because a few peasants who served as enlisted personnel in the ARVN got off with a couple months in labour camps doesn't mean there was a civilized transition of power.

Quote
Like I said, its complicated.  I do not support the bad things that North Vietnam did, but it must be understood in the context of war, and must always understand that both the US and the puppet thug regime in South Vietnam were actually the worse evil.  If the North Vietnamese were so terrible, how do so many hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese expatriates who live in the US travel back and forth to Vietnam with no trouble or fear?  I told you, the war with Cambodia did more to create the boat people crises than the "Fall of Saigon", the US just pumped up the propaganda machine to continue to make the villain of the North.  But no more of this, lets get back to Orthodox.

I would say the opposite, while the government in the South had problems, it cannot compare to the atrocities committed by the north who were the cause of the war. In 1945 the US had supported an international trusteeship of Indochina, this would have allowed Vietnam to be united under Bảo Đại and almost certainly gain independence within a decade. But Ho Chi Minh and the communists had gotten a little bit of power and refused to compromise. Their militant lust for power threw Vietnam into 30 years of war, followed by another decade of oppression due to ideological stupidity.

But, yes, after 4 decades of communist imposed hardship in Vietnam, things have improved and I'm happy they have. People can now go back and visit family again, foreign countries can once again invest in Vietnam, and there is hope for the future. But this has not happened thanks to Ho Chi Minh...it happened in spite of him.
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« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2010, 10:35:52 PM »

Quote from: Azurestone
I'm saying, if he is right that lack of responsibility for actions is amoral, and the teaching on the Latin Purgatory is that sins are forgiven, but still must be 'paid for', is that understanding more moral to Orthodoxy, where sins are forgiven without expectation of future cleansing.

Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

Latin?  Roll Eyes

Quote from: Azurestone
Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

I'm sorry, this is part of why I still don't understand. The other, is that I think you are comparing apples to oranges. Hitchens is an atheist. He doesn't take part in any church.

I'm not talking about Hitchens' faith.

Hitchens: It is amoral to not require a person to atone for their own wrongs (let them off free).

If TRUE:

Is the understanding of the Latin Purgatory, that is the requirement of purification of sins 'forgiven', but 'not paid for', more moral.

Than:

Orthodox purification for only sinful attachment, not for forgiven sins. Where sins that are forgiven are forgotten.  
My "impression" is that even forgiven sins produce results that will have to be experienced, but that these experiences (of some discomfort) will constitute part of the process of theosis.
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« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2010, 11:45:37 PM »

Are we supposed to have Jesus' fingerprints on something? They didn't even collect fingerprints back then. Of course fingertips existed, but there was no Sherlock Holmes running around with powder and brushes and cards.  Roll Eyes There was no video, no audio footage... writing was all they had, and often consisted of secretaries transcribing things for you. So why wouldn't writing be proof?  Huh

I'm just saying, isn't it a little convenient that he came at that particular point in history and not one with a better understanding of science and more modern media?
He came in the Fullness of Time according to His schedule, not your curiosity.

Hell, with modern media and a better understanding of science, some still have questions about who killed JFK.  Did the Apostles have a grassy knoll in the garden around the tomb?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 11:58:45 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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