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Author Topic: So I don't believe in God...  (Read 12482 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 17, 2011, 09:16:48 PM »

Please tell me why you believe He (or She) is actually there.

If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys.
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 09:20:44 PM »

How can I believe you are there?
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 09:28:15 PM »

Please tell me why you believe He (or She) is actually there.

If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys.

I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 09:34:27 PM »

Please tell me why you believe He (or She) is actually there.

If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys.

I added a tag (atheism) to the bottom of this thread, and added the same tag to several recent discussions we've had on the matter (it's been rather heavily discussed as of late, it seems), so feel free to look through the threads.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:55:24 PM »

How can I believe you are there?

I don't think he is there.   
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 10:00:41 PM »

GIC, thanks for the tag.  I should note that I don't necessarily consider myself an Atheist nor do I deny the existence of God... I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).

Quote
I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.

So in short, you believe in God because there is great historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I know the Bible describes this resurrection, but where else can I find this evidence?  I have been hesitant to believe the Adam & Eve story, and thus the significance of Jesus's resurrection, because of the historical evidence of human evolution.
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 10:21:41 AM »

GIC, thanks for the tag.  I should note that I don't necessarily consider myself an Atheist nor do I deny the existence of God... I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).

Quote
I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.

So in short, you believe in God because there is great historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I know the Bible describes this resurrection, but where else can I find this evidence?  I have been hesitant to believe the Adam & Eve story, and thus the significance of Jesus's resurrection, because of the historical evidence of human evolution.

It is interesting that one witness is admissable in court, but when speaking to historical evidence of Christ's resurrection, the four independent testimonies canonized in Scripture aren't considered admissible. Not to mention the thousands of others who bore witness, whose testimony has passed through the ages. Not to mention others who have testified to miraculous appearances of Christ, or His Mother, even those who were not Christians...at least not at that time. Just an interesting observation.

Jesus of Nazareth was surely an historical figure. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions him, as does the Roman historian Tacitus and several others make mention of a "Christ" and his "Christians." Usually speaking of the persecutions thereof. Of course, just a few centuries later, Christianity becomes the religion of the Empire, and so obscure historical references disappear as the majority of the Empire is Christianized.

What's more are the miracles still today associated with the events of Christ's life and those who follow Him. Incorrupt bodies of saints that have laid in repose for centuries, healing given to those who show devotion for Christ and His saints, salvation from seige and natural disaster, the annual miracles that occur on Mt. Tabor, in the Jordan River, in the tomb of Christ, etc.

Also, who told you that science and faith are at odds, or that one would even have to pick sides in any possible argument? Render unto Caesar (or Darwin, as the case may be) what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. If you seek to comprehend all mysteries and acquire all knowledge...you will never be satisifed.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 10:50:23 AM »

Zeus12,

I think Benjamin the Red just about summed it up. So maybe just think about what he's saying carefully, research any points that are necessary, and you'll be on your way...  police
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 11:04:46 AM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 11:06:09 AM »

I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).
Aren't "being convinced by evidence" and "believing" two contradictory things?


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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 11:09:45 AM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?

Yes, I would. Also, it's possible that they believed something to be true, without it actually being true.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 11:31:25 AM »

"If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys."

Well, that request certainly sounds sincere. What are you doing, researching a paper for Sociology 101? Go away.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 11:36:48 AM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?

Yes, I would. Also, it's possible that they believed something to be true, without it actually being true.

You would? Interesting.
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 12:05:37 PM »

I realize sometimes we get insincere people coming here just trying to argue about God's existence but it feels to me that too many people are jumping on this new poster here and that may be a bit unfounded at the moment. Again I realize we've got a long history of people coming here to just to bash Christianity, and perhaps this person is the same however I say let's try and give him a bit of a break, just for a short time and see what pans out. If he is sincere going the Lee Strobel route may or may not be the best method of discussion. Again, it might be, I don't know. I understand that this feels like the same old same old, but it may not be either.

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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 12:13:59 PM »

Please tell me why you believe He (or She) is actually there.

If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys.

Welcome to the forum!

If you want concise replies, you're probably barking up the wrong tree. I mean, aren't Orthodoxy and "concise" replies oxymorons? lol!

Some Christians might be able to give very brief reasons, but I am not one of them. Orthodoxy isn't quite as wrapped up in "belief" as much as other Christian traditions are. Yes it is important, but it is not the end all be all of what it means to be a Christian. IMO there are a lot of grey areas in the question you're asking. What do you mean by "God"? What do you mean by "believe"? It sounds like I'm dodging the question but to me these are important aspects to the question at hand. How does doubt come into play? Can one still be Orthodox and doubt? I don't think there are concise answers to the "big questions" of life. If it was that easy to answer I doubt you'd be asking the question to begin with. What does it mean to believe in God? Does belief do any good if you're not going to live it? etc.

We also have a long, and recent history of people claiming to be asking sincere questions, only to find out they have ulterior motives at play. So most of us, even the atheists here, are going to be on guard from people just popping in asking a question like this out of the blue. So forgive me for being a little skeptical of your intentions, however if you're sincere, you are welcome to stay and learn what we believe, even if in the end you choose not to believe it yourself.

NP
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2011, 12:16:05 PM »

I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).
Aren't "being convinced by evidence" and "believing" two contradictory things?




Excellent point. If one can be argued into Christianity by the evidence, then where the heck does faith come in? Or is the reverse true, we first have faith, then "believe" there is evidence to support our faith?

Good point, but I'm not sure my brain is up to the task of such a philosophical discussion this week, er maybe this month even...lol!

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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 12:16:20 PM »

I realize sometimes we get insincere people coming here just trying to argue about God's existence but it feels to me that too many people are jumping on this new poster here and that may be a bit unfounded at the moment. Again I realize we've got a long history of people coming here to just to bash Christianity, and perhaps this person is the same however I say let's try and give him a bit of a break, just for a short time and see what pans out. If he is sincere going the Lee Strobel route may or may not be the best method of discussion. Again, it might be, I don't know. I understand that this feels like the same old same old, but it may not be either.

NP

I think it's just that this issue has been discussed so much recently, people come here already in polemics mode. That's why I went to the trouble of tagging the threads on the issue for him, I'd be really surprised if this thread turned into a productive discussion (few on this subject ever do, everyone's just too defensive).
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2011, 12:37:10 PM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?

I'd actually use the 70 as an example, too; of the 12, 10 died martyr's deaths, 1 died of old age, 1 committed suicide.  If we count Matthias instead of Judas, then we're at 11 of 12.  However, IIRC, most or all of the 70 died martyr's deaths.
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2011, 12:45:30 PM »

To paraphrase a lot of what the late great skeptic Martin Gardner said, there is simply never going to be enough evidence on either side of the debate to convince everyone, so you just have to look at what's there and make your own decision.  And whichever choice you make, try to respect those on the other side of the chasm who chose otherwise.
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2011, 12:46:27 PM »

GIC, thanks for the tag.  I should note that I don't necessarily consider myself an Atheist nor do I deny the existence of God... I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).

Quote
I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.

So in short, you believe in God because there is great historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I know the Bible describes this resurrection, but where else can I find this evidence?  I have been hesitant to believe the Adam & Eve story, and thus the significance of Jesus's resurrection, because of the historical evidence of human evolution.

How does historical evidence of human evolution automatically mean that Christianity isn't true? Can't both be true?
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2011, 12:58:02 PM »

To paraphrase a lot of what the late great skeptic Martin Gardner said, there is simply never going to be enough evidence on either side of the debate to convince everyone, so you just have to look at what's there and make your own decision.  And whichever choice you make, try to respect those on the other side of the chasm who chose otherwise.

Especially when the evidence that is presented is rejected out of hand. Which is my experience with these types of discussions.
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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2011, 02:55:00 PM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?

Yes, I would. Also, it's possible that they believed something to be true, without it actually being true.

You would? Interesting.

Well, let me clarify, there would have to be something much more important at stake. For example, I'd die for a lie if I thought it would save (immediately or eventually) a lot of people's lives, or perhaps just a few lives if they were ones special to me (e.g. my daughters). Now admittedly, given what we know about Chrisitanity, I think fitting that approach into the Christian situation would be difficult... but not necessarily impossible. I guess it would depend on who was lying, what they were lying about, how much was at stake, etc. Now, having said that, I have to admit that I'm sort of playing devil's advocate here. Of the various evidences people use for Christianity, this one about early believers dying for Christianity is pretty high up there for me. For whatever reason, it's one of the few evidences that really resonates with me.
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2011, 05:30:18 PM »

I realize sometimes we get insincere people coming here just trying to argue about God's existence but it feels to me that too many people are jumping on this new poster here and that may be a bit unfounded at the moment. Again I realize we've got a long history of people coming here to just to bash Christianity, and perhaps this person is the same however I say let's try and give him a bit of a break, just for a short time and see what pans out. If he is sincere going the Lee Strobel route may or may not be the best method of discussion. Again, it might be, I don't know. I understand that this feels like the same old same old, but it may not be either.

NP

I think it's just that this issue has been discussed so much recently, people come here already in polemics mode. That's why I went to the trouble of tagging the threads on the issue for him, I'd be really surprised if this thread turned into a productive discussion (few on this subject ever do, everyone's just too defensive).

No, I think your right. For some reason I always remain optimistic about topics I personally find fascinating. Sum it to selfish desire for interesting dialogue...Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2011, 05:46:47 PM »

Well, let me clarify, there would have to be something much more important at stake. For example, I'd die for a lie if I thought it would save (immediately or eventually) a lot of people's lives, or perhaps just a few lives if they were ones special to me (e.g. my daughters). Now admittedly, given what we know about Chrisitanity, I think fitting that approach into the Christian situation would be difficult... but not necessarily impossible. I guess it would depend on who was lying, what they were lying about, how much was at stake, etc. Now, having said that, I have to admit that I'm sort of playing devil's advocate here. Of the various evidences people use for Christianity, this one about early believers dying for Christianity is pretty high up there for me. For whatever reason, it's one of the few evidences that really resonates with me.

I agree that there are a few reasons why someone may be willing to die for a lie, but getting 10 Apostles (or 11), plus 70 other apostles, to die for a lie would be quite a stretch, especially considering that their deaths were not for the protection of someone else (as in your example, which would likely be the only reason I'd be willing to die for a lie).
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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2011, 05:52:00 PM »

Just based on my own experience, take it for FWIW, no one has ever been argued into a belief in God (or anything else, for that matter.) As long as I have a sock drawer to organize, I will eschew discussions with folks who start out by telling me they don't believe in God or in the Bible as evidence, in favor of a more productive activity.
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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2011, 05:57:19 PM »

GIC, thanks for the tag.  I should note that I don't necessarily consider myself an Atheist nor do I deny the existence of God... I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).

Quote
I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.

So in short, you believe in God because there is great historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I know the Bible describes this resurrection, but where else can I find this evidence?  I have been hesitant to believe the Adam & Eve story, and thus the significance of Jesus's resurrection, because of the historical evidence of human evolution.

To answer your first question: N.T. Wright has written a great book called The Resurrection of the Son of God. That's probably one of the best easy resources out there to find if you're into reading books. In the book, Wright covers as many bases that he can in order to show the historical context and argument for the resurrection of Jesus. The length (over 800 pages) is well worth it if you're absolutely serious about finding out if Christianity is true. Also, I would recommend browsing through articles on Tektonics and Christian Think Tank.

If Genesis and Young Earth Creationism is giving you a hard time, you might be surprised to find that there are many intelligent Christians who believe that evolution is true. The head of the Human Genome Project, Francis S. Collins, is a Christian and certainly believes in it. The question comes down to how the first couple of chapters of Genesis are supposed to be interpreted. I've heard it argued that they are written in poetic form and therefore are not literal. Genesis and the four gospels were written over 1,000 years apart and cover quite different aspects of Christian belief. My advice is to focus on the main issue: whether Christianity itself is true. When looking at a belief system there is almost always something that it hinges on (in Islam the hingepoint would be whether or not Mohammad was a true prophet). For Christianity, the hingepoint is the resurrection itself. If Jesus rose bodily from the dead, then Christianity is absolutely true and all other worldviews are false.

Happy searching, friend. And welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2011, 06:21:23 PM »

I agree that there are a few reasons why someone may be willing to die for a lie, but getting 10 Apostles (or 11), plus 70 other apostles, to die for a lie would be quite a stretch, especially considering that their deaths were not for the protection of someone else (as in your example, which would likely be the only reason I'd be willing to die for a lie).

I think myth can be a powerful thing, especially for people of that age. We moderns tend to look at myths with condescension, but the ancients probably were more sophisticated in that they would look for important truths embedded in the tales. Would they have died for such truth-full myths? I don't know. I doubt it. I only keep in mind as a possibility... much like the delusion hypothesis, which I don't consider likely, but I keep in mind.
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2011, 07:02:23 PM »

I think it's interesting that the twelve Apostles (who saw Jesus), willingly died in his name, a historically verifiable fact. Would you willingly die for something you knew was false?

I think it is interesting as well, but couldn't someone also argue that 39 Heaven's Gate cult members willingly killed themselves in order to 'catch a ride' on the Hale-Bopp comet?  They didn't believe that what they died for was false either.

To the OP: I firmly believe in God, but I'm not sure that I can explain my reasoning or the occurrences that led me to this belief in a concise forum posting.
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« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2011, 11:45:10 PM »

I agree that there are a few reasons why someone may be willing to die for a lie, but getting 10 Apostles (or 11), plus 70 other apostles, to die for a lie would be quite a stretch, especially considering that their deaths were not for the protection of someone else (as in your example, which would likely be the only reason I'd be willing to die for a lie).

I think myth can be a powerful thing, especially for people of that age. We moderns tend to look at myths with condescension, but the ancients probably were more sophisticated in that they would look for important truths embedded in the tales. Would they have died for such truth-full myths? I don't know. I doubt it. I only keep in mind as a possibility... much like the delusion hypothesis, which I don't consider likely, but I keep in mind.

The possibility is small though, considering that so many witnesses of the Resurrection died or suffered on account of it, not just followers of the witnesses (which I would consider at this point possibly a "myth" or "rumor" not first-hand witnesses), but the witnesses themselves, making an example of bravery for more Christians to explode in increase.
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« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2011, 11:46:06 PM »

Quote
I think it is interesting as well, but couldn't someone also argue that 39 Heaven's Gate cult members willingly killed themselves in order to 'catch a ride' on the Hale-Bopp comet?  They didn't believe that what they died for was false either.

The disciples of Jesus were in a completely different situation. They preached that Jesus died a shameful death and rose again from the grave. Because of their persecutions they had literally nothing material to gain. They also did nearly every wrong thing in the book at the time to try and start a new religion (using women as witnesses, for example). Also, they didn't try to kill themselves like the Heaven's Gates members. The Heavens Gates cult pretty much ended when they committed mass suicide. Christianity, if it was false, would have never lasted out of the 1st Century and certainly not the 2nd.
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2011, 02:49:05 AM »

I just haven't found anything that has convinced me to believe (at least not yet).
Aren't "being convinced by evidence" and "believing" two contradictory things?




I wouldn't go so far as to say they are contradictory, but certainly they aren't the same.
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2011, 02:53:08 AM »


If you want concise replies, you're probably barking up the wrong tree. I mean, aren't Orthodoxy and "concise" replies oxymorons? lol!


I would go one step further and say that Orthodoxy and concision are oxymorons... Wink
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2011, 03:03:19 AM »

Truth is not limited to factual accuracy.
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2011, 04:02:33 AM »

I think it is interesting as well, but couldn't someone also argue that 39 Heaven's Gate cult members willingly killed themselves in order to 'catch a ride' on the Hale-Bopp comet?  They didn't believe that what they died for was false either.

Problem is that there was no verification that a UFO would be on that comet. They could have easily looked at a telescope.

No the Resurrection of Christ is completley different all together. They witnessed the Risen Christ, alive again rather than believing something that was to come.
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2011, 04:32:21 AM »

I think it is interesting as well, but couldn't someone also argue that 39 Heaven's Gate cult members willingly killed themselves in order to 'catch a ride' on the Hale-Bopp comet?  They didn't believe that what they died for was false either.

Problem is that there was no verification that a UFO would be on that comet. They could have easily looked at a telescope.

No the Resurrection of Christ is completley different all together. They witnessed the Risen Christ, alive again rather than believing something that was to come.

The Apostles certainly seem to say something like this, i.e., that they bear witness to something which they experienced directly (that is, the Person of Christ.) However, the Apostle John goes on to say that the reason they are telling us is so that we too may experience Him. Important to note is that the word "fellowship" in the original is "Koinonia" ("Communion"):
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." (1John 1:1-3)
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2011, 05:03:34 AM »

I think it is interesting as well, but couldn't someone also argue that 39 Heaven's Gate cult members willingly killed themselves in order to 'catch a ride' on the Hale-Bopp comet?  They didn't believe that what they died for was false either.

Problem is that there was no verification that a UFO would be on that comet. They could have easily looked at a telescope.

No the Resurrection of Christ is completley different all together. They witnessed the Risen Christ, alive again rather than believing something that was to come.

The Apostles certainly seem to say something like this, i.e., that they bear witness to something which they experienced directly (that is, the Person of Christ.) However, the Apostle John goes on to say that the reason they are telling us is so that we too may experience Him. Important to note is that the word "fellowship" in the original is "Koinonia" ("Communion"):
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." (1John 1:1-3)

Thank you for that reminder.  Many of us spend too much time on trying to prove it happened sometimes on the expense of experiencing it.
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2011, 03:11:52 PM »

Okay... Thanks for all the good replies.  I should have realized that this forum probably gets a ton of people who just bash Christianity, and I just want to say that's not what I'm here for.  I respect Christianity (I also have a lot of family who are devout Christians/Catholics) and my intention here is not to convince you guys I'm right, but instead be open to and consider your opinion on why God exists.  Sometimes it's good consider the stuff you know you'll disagree with at first.

With what I said about concise replies... I just didn't want to have to read a 3 paragraph comment on some tangent since we all know it can easily happen on any forum.  If it's on topic, feel free to write as much as you want.

Also, with the whole convinced by evidence and believing thing:  What I mean is that from my current perspective, I just don't see the Christian faith (and God in general) as a reasonable explanation for why we are here.  This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.  I can't say that I know my perspective is true, I don't think any of us can know; but it's possible to persuade and convince someone of something so they believe it to be true.  I'm just looking for reasons to believe in God and believe that Christianity is a credible religion.
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2011, 06:00:00 PM »

This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.

Is this your big hang-up about Christianity? You mention it an awful lot. Last I checked, Young Earth, Seven-Day Creationism is not an ecumenical dogma of the Orthodox Church. If it is...I'm anathema!  police
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2011, 06:13:19 PM »

When I am having problems believing in God, I ask myself if there is some other way I would want to live my life.

 If there is no God and the Universe is random it does not matter how I live. I could freely become a user of people, and perhaps a drunk and a thief, it would not matter. On the last beat of my heart I will disappear into the darkness.

 Even if there is no God and the universe is a blank, I still choose to serve God and live like a Christian. I love the words of Jesus, his Church, and the wonderful people that “chance” has placed in my life. So even if the universe is just a black hole and there is no eternal life, I choose to follow Jesus. If he dropped into a black hole in the universe when he died, then I will be happy to know that when I die I am following him into the nothingness.

Belief in God is a choice. Start with the premise that he exists and ask Him to revel himself to you.  God is real and he loves us he will show you the way
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2011, 07:22:00 PM »

Orthodox Christianity need not contradict scientific truths and understandings of the world.  The belief in God is simply that God was the ultimate Creator and Cause of all things.  Genesis is just a story that used the understanding of the culture at the time to lead to the understanding of this God as the Creator of all things, not to be taken as a literal understanding of creation.  That doesn't mean you'll not find people who do take them literally, but not all Orthodox do.
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« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2011, 08:54:52 PM »

Okay... Thanks for all the good replies.  I should have realized that this forum probably gets a ton of people who just bash Christianity, and I just want to say that's not what I'm here for.  I respect Christianity (I also have a lot of family who are devout Christians/Catholics) and my intention here is not to convince you guys I'm right, but instead be open to and consider your opinion on why God exists.  Sometimes it's good consider the stuff you know you'll disagree with at first.

With what I said about concise replies... I just didn't want to have to read a 3 paragraph comment on some tangent since we all know it can easily happen on any forum.  If it's on topic, feel free to write as much as you want.

Also, with the whole convinced by evidence and believing thing:  What I mean is that from my current perspective, I just don't see the Christian faith (and God in general) as a reasonable explanation for why we are here.  This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.  I can't say that I know my perspective is true, I don't think any of us can know; but it's possible to persuade and convince someone of something so they believe it to be true.  I'm just looking for reasons to believe in God and believe that Christianity is a credible religion.

I believe that in order to have a world where true love was possible, God had to allow creation to make itself to a large extent.  Otherwise, it would end up being some sort of divine puppet show or "simulation" in the mind of God.  So I am not shocked in the least when we find a naturalistic explanation for "the way things are."  In fact, it's to be expected. 

You won't find many amongst us Orthodox who believe in God for explanatory purposes.  That's a logical fallacy called God-of-the-gaps and it is rightly scoffed at.

Instead, everything is summed up in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  God had to "break through" to us, as it were, and the fullest expression of this breakthrough is found in Jesus.  Direct all your attention to him, start with history if you have to, familiarize yourself with the available sources, read, read, read and keep moving forward.

If one genuinely wants to find God though, this will not be enough.  I offer here these extremely helpful and insightful points by Fr. Thomas Hopko.  He calls them his "10 Essential Conditions For Coming To Know God's Truth."

1.  The belief that the truth of things can be known, and the desire to know the truth and to do it, wherever it leads, is most essential. Indeed it is everything. When people have this desire and seek truth in order to do it, and are ready to do it whatever it takes to find it, know it and do it, God promises that they will find, and understand and live. In a sense, this desire and seeking is all that is necessary.

2.  The seeking person must read the New Testament through, slowly and without judgment of details, at least two or three times, taking the time needed to do this. They should let go of what is not clear, and focus on what they can understand, what is clear to them. It would also be helpful to read a Psalm or two everyday.

3.  The person must pray, as they can. If they claim to be Christian, at least somehow, they should say the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers of the Church tradition, and attend Liturgical services, without serving or singing or reading. If they are not Christians, or are unsure, they must at least pray, “to whom it may concern,” saying something like, “if you are there, teach me, lead me, guide me…”

4.  The person must eat good foods in moderation. A couple of days a week (like Wed and Fri) the person should fast; eating much less than usual. During this search the person should abstain from all alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Except a minimal amount of wine with meals. If overeating or drinking, smoking or drug-taking is a problem, the seeker must get formal help, like, for example, a 12 step program.

5.  The person should abstain from all sexual activity unless they are married and expressing love (and not just having sex). There should be no TV or Internet porn. If sex is an addictive problem, they must take steps to get formal help.

6.  The person should sit alone and still in silence for at least a half hour each day. They should watch their thoughts, but not engage them. They should say a very short prayer while doing them, to avoid engaging their thoughts.

7.  The person should give at least a couple of hours a week to charitable work, and should give away some of their money (if they can) in a sacrificial way. They should do this, as far as possible, without anyone knowing what they are doing.

8.  The person should open their life fully to at least one other trustworthy person, telling absolutely everything, without editing or hiding anything: their thoughts, dreams, temptations, actions, sins, fears, anxieties, etc.

9.  The person must regularly talk with someone trustworthy specifically about their family of origin: their family history going back as far as possible, their childhood, relations with their parents and grandparents and siblings, their spiritual and religious history, their sexual history, education, etc.

10.  The person must find a community of friends with whom to struggle to know the truth and to find life. The search cannot be done alone. We need each other.

Welcome to the boards!
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2011, 05:07:31 PM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them. In other words, even if we had conclusive proof that the Universe began with the Big Bang, that wouldn't mean that God doesn't exist. I grew up an Orthodox Christian, and studies Evolution in High School, and just accepted it ( and still do), but I never questioned the existence of God as a result. I simply believed that God created us, and science was telling me how He'd done it.
I'm a psychologist, not a physicist, so I don't know the physics behind the Big Bang. Personally I can't understand how nothing can suddenly and for no reason explode into everything and then bits of everything rearrange themselves for no reason into self replicating bits which evolved into us. But just because I don't understand it doesn't mean I reject it as a possibility. But no matter how the Universe came to be, I believe God was behind it.
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2011, 05:22:00 PM »

Hey Sleeper, sorry if this is the dumbest question you'll ever hear but why are steps 8-10 so important?
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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2011, 06:18:01 PM »

Hey Sleeper, sorry if this is the dumbest question you'll ever hear but why are steps 8-10 so important?

Not a dumb question!  And I can only venture a guess myself, since Fr. Hopko put them forth.  But I'd say it's integral to have someone that you can "bare all" to, if only for the fact that it actually makes you take an honest look at yourself.  It's so easy to hind behind ourselves in safety, never really dealing with the deep issues we might be carrying around; some of which might be the very things things hindering our progress, you know?  That's not to say someone can't or won't find God without this step, but how does one even really realize their deep need for God if they've not even stopped to consider it, if they believe everything is fine, if they've never allowed someone to truly see them for who they are?

This is closely related to step nine.  We are not born in a vacuum, nor do we exist in one. Our own past, the past of our family, our grandparents, how we grew up, what we were taught, what we believed, these all matter a great deal and they affect us more than most of us care to admit.  I'm assuming that with both steps 8 & 9, Fr. Hopko has a sort of Spiritual Advisor in mind, though not necessarily in some official capacity.  

The fact is, our stories matter and the only way to make sense out of who we are is to know our own story, and that can be very difficult to do from the inside.  You need someone you trust who can look at your life story, the characters involved, the various plots, the settings, etc., who can offer an outside perspective that helps you make sense of it all.

And step 10 is kind of a way to tie all the steps together. A journey is always better when undertaken with a group. You need that mutual encouragement, those unique perspectives, those unique wisdoms, someone to pull you up when you've fallen down, so to speak.

Overall, what I think Fr. Hopko is really trying to get across, is that God is serious business, and if someone thinks it's just going to be an interesting intellectual exercise, they're mistaken. We can sit on this boards and discuss the rules of logic, cosmology, history, etc., until we're blue in the face, but we're not going to settle anything here. We're not going to settle it in books, or debates either.

If someone has a genuine desire to find God, there are important things that would prove invaluable in helping someone find Him. It's kind of like a Hobbit in the Shire not believing a word of Frodo's when he tells them he stood on Mt. Doom and the journey that it took to get there. Frodo could show them the maps, he could show them his scars, he could tell them the names of the others who accompanied him, but none of that will make a difference to someone who's not willing to do what it takes to take that same journey and find out for themselves.

That's probably a poor analogy, but it's the first one that came to mind! Someone setting out for a specific end ultimately has to do things that ensure their success.
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2011, 01:46:35 AM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.
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« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2011, 02:41:26 PM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.
I love St. John of Damascus' discussion on this matter.
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« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2011, 06:00:42 AM »

Okay... Thanks for all the good replies.  I should have realized that this forum probably gets a ton of people who just bash Christianity, and I just want to say that's not what I'm here for.  I respect Christianity (I also have a lot of family who are devout Christians/Catholics) and my intention here is not to convince you guys I'm right, but instead be open to and consider your opinion on why God exists.  Sometimes it's good consider the stuff you know you'll disagree with at first.

With what I said about concise replies... I just didn't want to have to read a 3 paragraph comment on some tangent since we all know it can easily happen on any forum.  If it's on topic, feel free to write as much as you want.

Also, with the whole convinced by evidence and believing thing:  What I mean is that from my current perspective, I just don't see the Christian faith (and God in general) as a reasonable explanation for why we are here.  This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.  I can't say that I know my perspective is true, I don't think any of us can know; but it's possible to persuade and convince someone of something so they believe it to be true.  I'm just looking for reasons to believe in God and believe that Christianity is a credible religion.

I believe that in order to have a world where true love was possible, God had to allow creation to make itself to a large extent.  Otherwise, it would end up being some sort of divine puppet show or "simulation" in the mind of God.  So I am not shocked in the least when we find a naturalistic explanation for "the way things are."  In fact, it's to be expected. 

You won't find many amongst us Orthodox who believe in God for explanatory purposes.  That's a logical fallacy called God-of-the-gaps and it is rightly scoffed at.

Instead, everything is summed up in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  God had to "break through" to us, as it were, and the fullest expression of this breakthrough is found in Jesus.  Direct all your attention to him, start with history if you have to, familiarize yourself with the available sources, read, read, read and keep moving forward.

If one genuinely wants to find God though, this will not be enough.  I offer here these extremely helpful and insightful points by Fr. Thomas Hopko.  He calls them his "10 Essential Conditions For Coming To Know God's Truth."

1.  The belief that the truth of things can be known, and the desire to know the truth and to do it, wherever it leads, is most essential. Indeed it is everything. When people have this desire and seek truth in order to do it, and are ready to do it whatever it takes to find it, know it and do it, God promises that they will find, and understand and live. In a sense, this desire and seeking is all that is necessary.

2.  The seeking person must read the New Testament through, slowly and without judgment of details, at least two or three times, taking the time needed to do this. They should let go of what is not clear, and focus on what they can understand, what is clear to them. It would also be helpful to read a Psalm or two everyday.

3.  The person must pray, as they can. If they claim to be Christian, at least somehow, they should say the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers of the Church tradition, and attend Liturgical services, without serving or singing or reading. If they are not Christians, or are unsure, they must at least pray, “to whom it may concern,” saying something like, “if you are there, teach me, lead me, guide me…”

4.  The person must eat good foods in moderation. A couple of days a week (like Wed and Fri) the person should fast; eating much less than usual. During this search the person should abstain from all alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Except a minimal amount of wine with meals. If overeating or drinking, smoking or drug-taking is a problem, the seeker must get formal help, like, for example, a 12 step program.

5.  The person should abstain from all sexual activity unless they are married and expressing love (and not just having sex). There should be no TV or Internet porn. If sex is an addictive problem, they must take steps to get formal help.

6.  The person should sit alone and still in silence for at least a half hour each day. They should watch their thoughts, but not engage them. They should say a very short prayer while doing them, to avoid engaging their thoughts.

7.  The person should give at least a couple of hours a week to charitable work, and should give away some of their money (if they can) in a sacrificial way. They should do this, as far as possible, without anyone knowing what they are doing.

8.  The person should open their life fully to at least one other trustworthy person, telling absolutely everything, without editing or hiding anything: their thoughts, dreams, temptations, actions, sins, fears, anxieties, etc.

9.  The person must regularly talk with someone trustworthy specifically about their family of origin: their family history going back as far as possible, their childhood, relations with their parents and grandparents and siblings, their spiritual and religious history, their sexual history, education, etc.

10.  The person must find a community of friends with whom to struggle to know the truth and to find life. The search cannot be done alone. We need each other.

Welcome to the boards!
So you give suggestions on how to attach emotions to an ideological concept.. Relationships usually include the actual person and not some conceptual Idea of one. Your suggestions are in the realm of manipulation geared to engineer devotion to an ideological construct.
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« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2011, 10:13:51 PM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them.

Ok, agreed.  May be God was behind it, may be not: got a question specifically about Christianity though (probably one all of you have heard before). 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.
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« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2011, 03:55:05 AM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
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« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2011, 04:22:00 AM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
"No man has yet breathed all the air; no mind has yet contained or language embraced God’s substance in its fullness. No, we use facts connected with him to outline qualities that correspond with him, collecting a faint and feeble mental image from various quarters.
Our noblest theologian is not one who has discovered the whole - our earthly shackles do not permit us the whole - but one whose mental image is by comparison fuller, who has gathered in his mind a richer picture, outline, or whatever we call it, of the truth."

-St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus). It was his feast day yesterday.
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« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2011, 11:12:40 AM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them.

Ok, agreed.  May be God was behind it, may be not: got a question specifically about Christianity though (probably one all of you have heard before). 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.


You nailed it, then you missed it again.

It doesn't matter what happened historically with Adam and Eve. The creation story we have has a theological principle behind it. So does the narrative of the Fall. Was there a literal Adam and Eve? I submit that it doesn't really matter now, does it? The point is that humanity has in some way erred and exist in a non-perfected state of sin and death.

Our faith in Christ's redemption does not hinge on how literal the first chapters of Genesis are, it hinges on whether or not Christ rose bodily from the dead. This is so central to the faith that it completely undoes our entire worldview, therefore St. Paul tells us that if Christ did not rise, we are "to be pitied most of all men."
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« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2011, 03:29:16 PM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
"No man has yet breathed all the air; no mind has yet contained or language embraced God’s substance in its fullness. No, we use facts connected with him to outline qualities that correspond with him, collecting a faint and feeble mental image from various quarters.
Our noblest theologian is not one who has discovered the whole - our earthly shackles do not permit us the whole - but one whose mental image is by comparison fuller, who has gathered in his mind a richer picture, outline, or whatever we call it, of the truth."

-St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus). It was his feast day yesterday.

What he said. Smiley

When we say that God is eternal, what we mean is, "God is outside of time" or "with God there is no beginning." We can't really describe what eternal is, but we can describe it as a converse to finite.

I would say that we say God is outside of time and not seek to visualize what this means. I will say this - if time is the measure of movement between parts, then time would not be necessary with God. But there is no way to visualize this, but instead we embrace the mystery.
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« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2011, 03:33:21 PM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
"No man has yet breathed all the air; no mind has yet contained or language embraced God’s substance in its fullness. No, we use facts connected with him to outline qualities that correspond with him, collecting a faint and feeble mental image from various quarters.
Our noblest theologian is not one who has discovered the whole - our earthly shackles do not permit us the whole - but one whose mental image is by comparison fuller, who has gathered in his mind a richer picture, outline, or whatever we call it, of the truth."

-St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus). It was his feast day yesterday.

What he said. Smiley

When we say that God is eternal, what we mean is, "God is outside of time" or "with God there is no beginning." We can't really describe what eternal is, but we can describe it as a converse to finite.

I would say that we say God is outside of time and not seek to visualize what this means. I will say this - if time is the measure of movement between parts, then time would not be necessary with God. But there is no way to visualize this, but instead we embrace the mystery.

Thank you oz and theo for helping me understand this concept of the "eternal" it makes perfect sense, oh and "describing" God. (On a side note, theo are you a fan of Aquinas?)
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« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2011, 03:38:05 PM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
"No man has yet breathed all the air; no mind has yet contained or language embraced God’s substance in its fullness. No, we use facts connected with him to outline qualities that correspond with him, collecting a faint and feeble mental image from various quarters.
Our noblest theologian is not one who has discovered the whole - our earthly shackles do not permit us the whole - but one whose mental image is by comparison fuller, who has gathered in his mind a richer picture, outline, or whatever we call it, of the truth."

-St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus). It was his feast day yesterday.

What he said. Smiley

When we say that God is eternal, what we mean is, "God is outside of time" or "with God there is no beginning." We can't really describe what eternal is, but we can describe it as a converse to finite.

I would say that we say God is outside of time and not seek to visualize what this means. I will say this - if time is the measure of movement between parts, then time would not be necessary with God. But there is no way to visualize this, but instead we embrace the mystery.

Thank you oz and theo for helping me understand this concept of the "eternal" it makes perfect sense, oh and "describing" God. (On a side note, theo are you a fan of Aquinas?)

Eh, yes and no. I'm a fan of his explanation of the body and soul, but at the same time he takes away a lot of the mystery of everything. I'm more partial to the Eastern theologians/philosophers (such as St. John of Damascus), but I do think Aquinas has a lot of good to say.
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« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2011, 04:25:47 PM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them.

Ok, agreed.  May be God was behind it, may be not: got a question specifically about Christianity though (probably one all of you have heard before). 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.

I assure you that the evidence can be legitimate while at the same time retaining the creative narrative found in Genesis. It's more a problem of the understanding of our nature rather than the mingling of a Platonic concept to a valid theory. The two will never merge with unity unless one is transfigured.

BTW: I always like to believe that we are in a dialectic discussion instead of an argumentative one.
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« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2011, 04:41:00 PM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.

Theo, without anthropomorphizing God, how exactly does one describe Him, just as a mystery? I guess I myself struggle with an uncreated God that is eternal, my mind just can't contain that (and perhaps I should not).
"No man has yet breathed all the air; no mind has yet contained or language embraced God’s substance in its fullness. No, we use facts connected with him to outline qualities that correspond with him, collecting a faint and feeble mental image from various quarters.
Our noblest theologian is not one who has discovered the whole - our earthly shackles do not permit us the whole - but one whose mental image is by comparison fuller, who has gathered in his mind a richer picture, outline, or whatever we call it, of the truth."

-St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus). It was his feast day yesterday.

What he said. Smiley

When we say that God is eternal, what we mean is, "God is outside of time" or "with God there is no beginning." We can't really describe what eternal is, but we can describe it as a converse to finite.

I would say that we say God is outside of time and not seek to visualize what this means. I will say this - if time is the measure of movement between parts, then time would not be necessary with God. But there is no way to visualize this, but instead we embrace the mystery.

Thank you oz and theo for helping me understand this concept of the "eternal" it makes perfect sense, oh and "describing" God. (On a side note, theo are you a fan of Aquinas?)

Eh, yes and no. I'm a fan of his explanation of the body and soul, but at the same time he takes away a lot of the mystery of everything. I'm more partial to the Eastern theologians/philosophers (such as St. John of Damascus), but I do think Aquinas has a lot of good to say.
I think Aquinas and Dasmascene are good foils of one another. And now I am out.
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« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2011, 11:45:12 AM »

 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

That's not how ALL of Christianity understands the Fall/Adam & Eve or the creation account in Genesis. The Eastern Church, what now constitutes the Orthodox Church, never really embraced that view of the fall that you are talking about. We accept, more the Iranaeus model that "the fall" wasn't a "fall" from a great height of spiritual perfection, rather it was being derailed from the path towards spiritual perfection. It was sort of like taking the wrong fork in the road that lead to the top of the mountain, we didn't BEGIN on the mountain top though.

Quote
I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.


Well there are other possibilities too. One of which the Catholic Church has essentially backed; that is evolution is 100% true, but at some point in the past, Adam and Eve came into existence, these may have been the first "humans", and they were in full and perfect communion with God, but then fell from this relationship through disobedience.


What I really appreciate about your posts thus far is that you're definitely a lot more open and honest than many people, religious and non religious, so that's good. I'm personally into learning about new views (new to me) and find lots of different beliefs and non beliefs quite interesting even if I don't accept them myself. It's a good road you're own, open minded inquiry with no preconceived notions or ax grinding; hopefully I'm on that same road to the best of my ability.


In another post you wrote, (but it's relevant to this one) the following:
Quote
Also, with the whole convinced by evidence and believing thing:  What I mean is that from my current perspective, I just don't see the Christian faith (and God in general) as a reasonable explanation for why we are here.  This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.

Well, despite what many in the Church, and Christianity in general have taught over the centuries, it's pretty clear through Biblical scholarship that the Creation story (actually textually speaking there are 2 different ones, not just one) was not told and written down as some scientific explanation. In other words it is not a scientific text, but a religious text told for religious and spiritual reasons. Genesis 1 as I see it, is a two part text written down from oral tradition which used the best "science" by observation, yet at the same time uses imagery every person knew could not be true. (light before the sun etc) Every ancient KNEW the sun is what gives light; this is just observation and is why so many ancient cultures worshipped the sun. The sun gives life. So it must be a god. That's not what Genesis 1 is saying because it clearly states light exists before the sun, that is a religious statement/metaphor. The "science" of Genesis 1 is just the categorizing of all known species, and the writer actually did an amazingly accurate job. Genesis 2 and 3 have a very different purpose and have really nothing to do with "how the world got here". Orthodoxy and Catholicism don't need Genesis to be literally and factually accurate. Some Church fathers outright said that it was not. Many did believe it, but in any case since we don't hold the view that the Bible is inerrant, well, for us the only point we must take out of Genesis is that God created it all. Which seems to be the point of the whole thing. I don't take Genesis literally (though I once did) and I can pick the whole thing apart textually; and really find some fascinating parallels to ancient myths in the Adam and Eve story etc. Did the ancient writers NOT know of these parallels? I think they most certainly did. To me it's the religious truth behind the story that is important. Try not to get too hung up on what TV preachers say Genesis must mean. Some of the Church fathers, and even the Jewish Rabbis have sometimes said the creation is not literally true, and some of these men said this LONG before the scientific age. Of course lots of them did believe it, but even for many of these saints, the "point" wasn't whether it was a science book, but the "point" was the spiritual significance told within the story. Televangelists who say the "point" of Genesis is to tell us how God created the world are branching off in NEW directions. I don't think any of the early Christian saints, western or eastern would have said such a thing. St. Augustine in, I think Confessions, said that he believed Genesis was 100% literal, but that if it was ever proven NOT to be literal, and Christians still insisted that it was, the Pagans would have good cause to laugh at Christians for continuing to hold such a belief. Can you imagine a Creationist saying such a thing today? I sure can't.

Either way, I personally don't care if anyone believes it is literal or not. People can take it any way they choose. The only time I debate the issue is when someone is told they MUST understand it only ONE way; and two, we MUST teach it as science. As long as people don't try to tell me dinosaurs never existed and God is the cosmic practical joker, or that I as an Orthodox Christian MUST believe it is all 100% factual history, I just do not concern myself with it. Believe it as literal, don't believe...no skin off my nose. It's the spiritual truth in the story that is important. That's how I see it anyways.

(PS: hopefully this won't become yet another Creationist debate, 'sigh')

NP

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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2011, 02:32:34 AM »

Dear Zeus12,

I'm not sure that you are going to find much in the way of a satisfying answer to your questions asking for proof…and even if someone were able to prove by some argument that God exists what would be the gain?

It seems to me we're dealing a "how do we know what we know" kind of question…epistemology and gnossiology and all those big -ology words. What could possible qualify as of the existence of a person…any person…even a supreme omnipotent, all wise, etc. one? Let's say He openly reveals Himself to someone…that's only satiating to the one visited.  His neighbor who wasn't there at the moment to witness anything might well attribute his friend's new enthusiasm to a short nap and a really spicy slice of pizza. If you visited me and there are no witnesses to the event…people can believe my report that I met you or not…but there is no proof we actually met.

My second point asked what was the gain if you found proof. I learn new stuff every day…and I hope I'm the better for what I learn, but most of it…just another little tin of factoids…well I'm under no obligation to any particular bit any attention at all…I learn a new thing today, move on and learn a new thing tomorrow and build my great big inventory of knowledge about all kinds of stuff.  To learn a "proof" of God's existence is just another afternoon's diversion.  What happens if you get that proof? Do you rejoice and cast yourself at His feet in repentance? Do try to chummy up like a little buddy? Do you just say hmmm, that's very interesting…wonder if a new Glee is on tonight?  Or, do you react badly…ah darn, that just messes with my life man…and essentially resent the fact that you now have proof and now have to figure out a way to justify doing what you want without regard to this newfound knowledge wherever it interferes with your pleasures?

If God exists, what is His incentive to satisfy yours or anyone else's idle curiosity?

The thing is…we are talking about knowing a person….The Person…and persons are not known by"knowing about them." Persons are known only in the context of relationship. If you want to "know" God exists and are not just looking for a proof of fact like wombat's exist or magnetic poles exist that you can take or leave like an old penny….then your search for proof must open to relationship as proof…with all its vulnerabilities.

You can't reduce that to a mathematical formula or put it in a test tube.

So…to put this all in down home speech, I think you've gone on a quail hunt with a clam shovel.  The intellectual tools you want to use cannot discover what you hope to find…its a different gnosis…different tools are required to "know".

Thus when the moment comes God does make Himself known to you…either by means subtle or gross…who is going to believe you….too much spicy pizza before bedtime. How will you prove you had this "invisible" meeting with One Who was definitely there?…barring a major miracle that is.

In the end, I believe your quest going to reach it's intellectual choke point on the question of who do you trust? Whose witness of the faith and it's content is authoritative (not just administratively, but in fact because it is true)?

The best you are going to be about to do intellectually is find enough proof to strongly suggest that about 2000 years ago lived a great Jewish teacher and mystic whose disciples in time changed the world.  Thus you know about him, in summary, pretty much all that is known with any documentary certainty. 

So what now…"Lord, if you exist reveal yourself to me?"  The actual answer to that prayer is the only thing that will serve to qualify and satisfy your current inquiry. And when it happens who will believe you…only those with congruent experience in the same vein…not necessarily externally identical…but essentially the same inward meeting. If your experience matches their experience in content and character, then they know and you know that you share the witness of common knowledge of and about this person God.

That's really all we have day to day as a rule….an ancient witness that was replicated and confirmed in countless lives from that day to this over the course of 2000 years.
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« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2011, 03:53:55 AM »

Apologies for making this my first post on the forum, as I have questions of my own (though not over the existence of God).

I would point you to St. John of Damascus' book An Exact Exposition of Orthodoxy, third chapter (I believe, I don't currently have it in front of me). To put it concisely:

All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

Due to the impossibility of an actual infinite regress - one is possible in mathematics, but cannot be actualized - logically there must be a beginning point. This is not a case of special pleading, for God being simple (uncomposed) and therefore immutable would not require a beginning point, for He exists outside of time. We say He exists outside of time because time is the measurement from one movement to the other, but if God does not move (that is, if He is not corporeal or composed of parts or capable of changing) then there is no measurement of time and thus no need for a beginning. Matter simply doesn't have this capability as it is composed of parts. Therefore, God must exist.

I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries on this.
"all things that are mutable have a creator" — unsupported premise. To even to begin to take it seriously, it must be falsifiable and testable. But if "all things within our experience are mutable," then without an example of a tangible immutable thing to examine, I fail to see how the argument even proposes to distinguish a mutable from an immutable thing.

The argument simply asserts a god exists and declares this god is immutable, but does not provide evidence for either. Not only is no clear explanation given as to why we should consider this god immutable (nor do you even make clear what you mean by "not composed of parts," nor how you could possibly know this), but if it's the christian god we're discussing, then the claim seems to contradict pretty much all of scripture...in which this god is seen making decisions, getting angry and killing millions of people, and sending his son (who is really himself in corporeal form) to die for our sins, allowing him to change his mind about humanity's ultimate fate. in short, everything this god does as recounted in the bible indicates a changing and thoroughly mutable being.

In short, the whole argument is the very definition of the special pleading fallacy. it sets up a host of assumptions about what the rules for reality are, and invents a God who gets to break all those rules. Simply saying "It's not special pleading if we're talking about god, whom I define into existence such and such a way" won't help you.
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« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2011, 12:12:02 AM »

Quote
All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

A more fruitful place to begin might be that suggested in Bishop John Zizoulas' explication of the teaching of the Capadocian fathers "Being as Communion", namely that nothing exists of itself apart from communion, not even God. In short all creation is the outflow of the primal communion revealed to us as the Holy Trinity. If God is Love then God must be Triune because love is relational and does not exist in the absence of the Beloved or of the Other….I cannot do +John's argument justice so I would direct the interested to read Being as Communion to get the details and explanations.
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« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2011, 06:10:24 PM »

Quote
All things that are mutable have a Creator
All things within our experience are mutable
Therefore, all things within our experience have a Creator

A more fruitful place to begin might be that suggested in Bishop John Zizoulas' explication of the teaching of the Capadocian fathers "Being as Communion", namely that nothing exists of itself apart from communion, not even God. In short all creation is the outflow of the primal communion revealed to us as the Holy Trinity. If God is Love then God must be Triune because love is relational and does not exist in the absence of the Beloved or of the Other….I cannot do +John's argument justice so I would direct the interested to read Being as Communion to get the details and explanations.


I saw that book a few months ago and added it to my "Wish List." Hearing the synopsis makes me want it more. Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2011, 11:02:10 PM »

Okay... Thanks for all the good replies.  I should have realized that this forum probably gets a ton of people who just bash Christianity, and I just want to say that's not what I'm here for.  I respect Christianity (I also have a lot of family who are devout Christians/Catholics) and my intention here is not to convince you guys I'm right, but instead be open to and consider your opinion on why God exists.  Sometimes it's good consider the stuff you know you'll disagree with at first.

With what I said about concise replies... I just didn't want to have to read a 3 paragraph comment on some tangent since we all know it can easily happen on any forum.  If it's on topic, feel free to write as much as you want.

Also, with the whole convinced by evidence and believing thing:  What I mean is that from my current perspective, I just don't see the Christian faith (and God in general) as a reasonable explanation for why we are here.  This is because the whole Big Bang theory—from the beginning to how Earth was formed—makes more sense to me than "The Creation" listed in Genesis.  I can't say that I know my perspective is true, I don't think any of us can know; but it's possible to persuade and convince someone of something so they believe it to be true.  I'm just looking for reasons to believe in God and believe that Christianity is a credible religion.

I believe that in order to have a world where true love was possible, God had to allow creation to make itself to a large extent.  Otherwise, it would end up being some sort of divine puppet show or "simulation" in the mind of God.  So I am not shocked in the least when we find a naturalistic explanation for "the way things are."  In fact, it's to be expected. 

You won't find many amongst us Orthodox who believe in God for explanatory purposes.  That's a logical fallacy called God-of-the-gaps and it is rightly scoffed at.

Instead, everything is summed up in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  God had to "break through" to us, as it were, and the fullest expression of this breakthrough is found in Jesus.  Direct all your attention to him, start with history if you have to, familiarize yourself with the available sources, read, read, read and keep moving forward.

If one genuinely wants to find God though, this will not be enough.  I offer here these extremely helpful and insightful points by Fr. Thomas Hopko.  He calls them his "10 Essential Conditions For Coming To Know God's Truth."

1.  The belief that the truth of things can be known, and the desire to know the truth and to do it, wherever it leads, is most essential. Indeed it is everything. When people have this desire and seek truth in order to do it, and are ready to do it whatever it takes to find it, know it and do it, God promises that they will find, and understand and live. In a sense, this desire and seeking is all that is necessary.

2.  The seeking person must read the New Testament through, slowly and without judgment of details, at least two or three times, taking the time needed to do this. They should let go of what is not clear, and focus on what they can understand, what is clear to them. It would also be helpful to read a Psalm or two everyday.

3.  The person must pray, as they can. If they claim to be Christian, at least somehow, they should say the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers of the Church tradition, and attend Liturgical services, without serving or singing or reading. If they are not Christians, or are unsure, they must at least pray, “to whom it may concern,” saying something like, “if you are there, teach me, lead me, guide me…”

4.  The person must eat good foods in moderation. A couple of days a week (like Wed and Fri) the person should fast; eating much less than usual. During this search the person should abstain from all alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Except a minimal amount of wine with meals. If overeating or drinking, smoking or drug-taking is a problem, the seeker must get formal help, like, for example, a 12 step program.

5.  The person should abstain from all sexual activity unless they are married and expressing love (and not just having sex). There should be no TV or Internet porn. If sex is an addictive problem, they must take steps to get formal help.

6.  The person should sit alone and still in silence for at least a half hour each day. They should watch their thoughts, but not engage them. They should say a very short prayer while doing them, to avoid engaging their thoughts.

7.  The person should give at least a couple of hours a week to charitable work, and should give away some of their money (if they can) in a sacrificial way. They should do this, as far as possible, without anyone knowing what they are doing.

8.  The person should open their life fully to at least one other trustworthy person, telling absolutely everything, without editing or hiding anything: their thoughts, dreams, temptations, actions, sins, fears, anxieties, etc.

9.  The person must regularly talk with someone trustworthy specifically about their family of origin: their family history going back as far as possible, their childhood, relations with their parents and grandparents and siblings, their spiritual and religious history, their sexual history, education, etc.

10.  The person must find a community of friends with whom to struggle to know the truth and to find life. The search cannot be done alone. We need each other.

Welcome to the boards!

I was on AOI today and I came across the same article and a fellow by the name of Heiromonk Mark posted this, thought you might find it interesting

Quote
Perhaps it is because I am not an erudite, academic theologian, with letters after my name, but this little piece leaves me uneasy. It strikes me as the blandest possible, values-free, humanistic, ecumenistic, generic counterfeit for Orthodox Christianity one could imagine.

Didn’t our Lord say that, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven and that no one can come to the Father but by Him? And yet Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Spirit, the Holy Trinity, the only true source of the authentic divine life, light and truth, is nowhere mentioned in this ‘recipe’ for coming to know the ‘truth’ of a generic, unspecified ‘God’ and the finding of some kind of ‘life’ also of an unspecified nature. There are many people that follow many of these suggestions without knowing or coming to know Christ. I’d venture to say that the Dalai Lama, just as one example, has a mastery of many, if not most, of them, and, indeed, one better than I have been able to achieve.

Do not our Holy Fathers make it clear that the only true and inerrrant path to the Kingdom of God is twofold, consisting of both the practise of Orthodox Christian askesis and participation in the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church? Isn’t what Fr. Thomas has written a sort of non-denominational, ‘New Age’, ‘AA’ type of palliative, that could tend to make all sorts of self-styled ‘spiritual’ people happy and satisfied with themselves and with what ‘good’ people they are (by their own efforts), without leading anyone any closer to the Way, the Truth and the Life, the one and only, who is to be found, in perfect fullness and clarity, only in the faith and life preserved and lived to their fullness in the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ, and there, alone?

As George writes, the 10 points may certainly be useful for making the world (a world without Christ) a better place. But I have strong reservations about them being an effective and dependable way to knowing ‘God’s Truth’ and finding ‘Life’ as we Orthodox Christians are taught by Holy Tradition to understand them. Mere ‘wise words’ from a sweet, gentle heart can easily lead astray. The best guidance we can offer to all men, both Orthodox Christians and not, is our own personal dedication to living the life of Holy Orthodoxy to the fullest extent our personal frailties will permit. Then, words are available, if needed, as a means of clarification of the reality we express in our ascetic and mystical life.
http://www.aoiusa.org/blog/2011/02/fr-hopko-10-essential-conditions-for-coming-to-know-god%e2%80%99s-truth-and-finding-life/
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« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2011, 02:45:05 PM »

For the OP, this might be helpful:
http://www.peterkreeft.com/featured-writing.htm
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« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2011, 06:42:47 AM »

Please tell me why you believe He (or She) is actually there.

If possible, it would be nice to have fairly concise replies.
Thank you guys.

I believe God exists because of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the great historical evidence for it.

That's great.. Jesus stories were a dime a dozen in that era.. Not to mention in the general history of religion..

Unoriginality of the Bible:

lets get into some fun stuff while we are at it.. Let's see how much you even know about your religion and why it's entirely false and a form of plagiarism, or at the very least a perfect example of a copy / paste religion.

Jesus and Hercules
* http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/hercules.html

*Overcame the serpent and assassination attempts during infancy.
*Divine Father and Mortal Mother.
*Birth prophesied.
*Consoled mother upon time of death with reference to Heaven
*Final words: "It is finished"

Jesus and Dionysus:
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/dionysus.html

*Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature
*Divine Father, Mortal Virgin Mother
*Healed the sick
*Turned water into wine
*Killed, and resurrected to immortality
*Depicted on a Donkey
*Death was greatest accomplishment delivering humanity

The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah's Ark:
http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab1.htm

*Worldwide flood caused by rain would destroy everything
*A single righteous man: Ut-Napishtim or Noah
*The main characters were instructed to build an ark of wood with compartments, and have a single door
*The arc settled on a mountain in the Middle East
*Two birds returned to the ark, but not the third
*An animal was offered as a sacrifice upon landing
*The Gods in both stories expressed remorse for what they did

The great Sumerian Flood - Ark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKZhd3mJeBE

Osiris
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/o/osiris.html

*Body chopped up and scattered throughout the nation - Judges 20:6
*Virgin mother
*Rose from the grave to judge the souls of the dead

--

The story of Jesus is either nearly plagiarized from other religions far more ancient than Christianity, or inspired by. This goes beyond Judaism. The bulk can be directly traced to Egyptian religion, and the worship of the sun god Horus, who happens to share many important features with Jesus. These features are so identical, the issue cannot be due to coincidence. This is not to say that Horus is the only Pagan god with similar features, but he is one of the most identical to Jesus. Others might be Mithra, Krishna, Dionysus, Attis, or Zoroaster.

1. His mother was a virgin woman: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Krishna, Mithra, Zoroaster
2. He was born on December 25: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
3. His earthly (adopted) father was a carpenter: Jesus, Krishna
4. His birth was signaled by a heavenly star: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna
5. At his birth, shepherds presented him with gifts: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
6. He was born in a manger or a cave: Jesus, Dionysus, Mithra
7. As a baby, he is declared a king. Wise men present him with gifts of gold: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
8. Angels or other good divine spirits sang songs or danced at his birth: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
9. He was threatened by a king or tyrant who tried to kill him as an infant: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses
10. He was of royal lineage: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
11. He taught at the temple as a child and astounded all who heard him with his wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Zoroaster
12. He was baptized at a river: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Zoroaster
13. His hapless baptizer is later decapitated: Jesus, Horus
14. He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil: Jesus, Zoroaster
15. He was a traveling teacher of great wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, Mithra
16. His ministry preached a message of charity, peace and love. He lived in poverty and loved the poor: Jesus, Krishna
17. He taught of heaven and hell, revealed mysteries, resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse: Jesus, Zoroaster
18. He gave a famous sermon on a mountain: Jesus, Horus
19. He had 12 disciples: Jesus, Horus, Mithra
20. He gave his disciples the power to work miracles: Jesus, Krishna
21. He was transfigured in front of his disciples, sometimes described as shining as the sun: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna
22. He healed the sick and the injured: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Mithra, Serapis, Zoroaster
23. He cast out demons: Jesus, Horus, Zoroaster
24. He fed hundreds or thousands with magically generated food: Jesus, Buddha
25. He walked on water: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
26. He brought back the dead: Jesus, Horus
27. He turned water into wine: Jesus, Dionysus
28. His followers were admonished to take vows of poverty and renounce worldly desires: Jesus, Buddha
29. He was called such exalted titles as "Lord", "Master", "Light of the World", "Holy One", "Redeemer", "The Way", "The Truth", etc.: Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
30. He is called "Logos" or "The Word": Jesus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra, Prometheus, Zoroaster
31. He was called "the anointed one" (how "Christ" translates): Jesus, Dionysus, Horus
32. He was known to his followers as a Shepherd of Humanity: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Serapis
33. He was known as a fisher, associated with the fish: Jesus, Horus
34. He's identified with the ram or lamb: Jesus, Dionysus, Horus, Mithra
35. He's identified with the lion: Jesus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
36. He came not to destroy but to fulfill the law: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
37. He rode in a triumphal procession on a donkey: Jesus, Dionysus
38. He condemned the clergy for their ambition and hypocrisy. He would later fall victim to their scheming: Jesus, Krishna
39. He crushed a serpent's head: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
40. Declared the savior of humanity, slain for our salvation: Jesus, Attis, Krishna, Mithra
41. He sometimes is known by a heart symbol: Jesus, Krishna
42. His body and/or blood is consumed through bread/wine in a symbolic ritual: Jesus, Attis, Dionysus, Mithra, Zoroaster
43. He had a sacred cup or grail: Jesus, Zoroaster
44. He died while hung from a cross or a tree: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna
45. His good friend, a fisherman named Peter/Petraeus, would desert him: Jesus, Prometheus
46. He was crucified between two thieves: Jesus, Horus, Krishna
47. He was around the age of 30 when he was crucified: Jesus, Krishna
48. At his death, the sun darkened or there were other grim supernatural signs: Jesus, Krishna
49. He went to the underworld for three days: Jesus, Attis, Mithra
50. He was resurrected: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
51. He was resurrected during the springtime, the date of which would become a day of celebration among his followers: Jesus, Attis, Dionysus, Mithra
52. His sacred day is Sunday: Jesus, Mithra
53. He is the second part of a divine trinity and/or considered to be one with his father god: Jesus, Attis, Krishna
54. He promises to return one day: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Zoroaster
55. When he comes again, he will ride on a white horse to do battle with the prince of evil: Jesus, Krishna

THE RIVALS OF JESUS!: <National Geographic series>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMXHL2cRNzw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly8ojx0nw4Y&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G-sdcv50cQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsTFiQKLeJU&feature=related

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« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2011, 06:47:50 AM »

Then you can go on to list thousands of GOD's to which include our very own Sun. Even Christianity has Polytheistic roots. However it tries to assert a GOD above all other GODS later in it's history:

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"Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)

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"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
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"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)

You can reference The Evolution of God on Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded

History records that the ancient people in the area of the Middle East, including the Hebrews, believed in many goddesses and gods. Yahweh served only as their god, a god among many others.

    "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

Christianity is really the evolution of denying the existence of all other GOD's in favor of their singular GOD even though their History is directly tied to polytheism. It's a self-historical contradiction, and a perfect example of the evolution of the God Concept..
AKA moving the Goal post!

It get's even worse here:

The other problem is that the Bible is pretty much the worshiping of the SUN, Yes that star that gives life, and snuffs out darkness to which seemingly hangs in the sky.

*
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(Deuteronomy 9:3 NIV) But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.

*
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27And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.
*
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Malachi intimates the appearance of the sun with the name of God. "Hosts" refers to the stars: 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

*
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for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:29)

*
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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

There are many more.. But I think a few will suffice to make a point. And much of the fable behind Jesus's own story seems to follow the same theme.

Hence the GOD of light is actually supposed to be the Sun itself. It's always been a light vs Dark thing. The meaning of it really is that servitude to power is the light, and anything that should stray into the darkness is evil. It's a neat little mind trick to setup social dogma commonly found in "Christian Realism". Hence, anything against the light is to be feared, demonized, or claimed to be immoral and evil.
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« Reply #65 on: February 16, 2011, 09:10:17 AM »

Jesus and Hercules*Overcame the serpent and assassination attempts during infancy.
There was indeed an attempt on his life while he was still an infant, when his step-mother, Juno, put a serpent in his cradle (which Hercules kills), but this hardly compares to Jesus.

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*Divine Father and Mortal Mother.
Yet was not a virgin and had a twin brother, Iphicles.

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*Birth prophesied.
Which prophets were those? No such thing appears in the Hercules story.

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*Consoled mother upon time of death with reference to Heaven
Hercules never really 'died' in any version of the story, and I can find no mention of his mother or any disciple in the one version in which Deianara poisons him.

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*Final words: "It is finished"
Nope.

http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus2.html#4 (Scroll to 2.4.8 to read the story)
http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#8
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HesiodShield.html
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns3.html#15
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidHeroides2.html#9
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses9.html#1
http://www.emufarm.org/~cmbell/myth/hercules.html
http://www.tektonics.org/alcy.html
http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/hercules.html

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Jesus and Dionysus:
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/dionysus.html

*Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature
Dionysus was indeed "the God of the Vine". However, Jesus wasn't.

Quote
*Divine Father, Mortal Virgin Mother
His mother, Semele, was impregnanted sexually by Zeus.  He was never referred to as the "Holy Child" or placed in a manger in any version of the story.
http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#3

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*Healed the sick
Jesus' miracles were healings and such - all positive miracles.  Dionysus' miracles were judgments against those who defied him.

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*Turned water into wine
The earliest possible reference to Dionysus turning water into wine was by Achilles Tatius in the Greek Romance, "The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon" which was written in the 2nd century A.D.  It mentions a Tyranian myth about Dionysus introducing wine to the world, with Dionysus calling it "the water of summer" and saying "This is the water, this is the spring".  It's not clear whether this a real Tyranian myth being mentioned here (in which case it may be pre-Christian) or just something Tatius was inventing for the purposes of this story.  Either way, Dionysus is not actually turning water into wine, but simply calling the wine a type of water.  And we cannot reliably date this myth to any earlier than the second century A.D.

Quote
*Killed, and resurrected to immortality
This story is hardly similar to the story of Jesus' resurrection and is an unofficial story anyways.  There is an ancient reference to Dionysus being "a god who renews himself and returns every year rejuvenated", but this doesn't involve death.

Quote
*Depicted on a Donkey
Dionysus was depicted riding a donkey while a crowd waved ivy branches - the typical homecoming for any royal figure.  The crowd welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem were imitating this sort of homecoming, though using the traditional palm branches of Israel.  So while this could be called a sort of imitation, it's an imitation committed by the people in the story itself, not by any writer, and had nothing to do with Dionysus in particular.  The latter quotes come from the book "The Jesus Mysteries" by Freke and Gandy.  Their only reference is to a depiction of a scene from Orphic eschatology which, oddly, has nothing to do with Dionysus.

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*Death was greatest accomplishment delivering humanity
Actually Jesus' Resurrection is the greatest accomplishment in delivering humanity. Dionysus is only referred to as 'savior' and in the context in which he is referred to 'savior', he is saving people from the wrath of Pentheus, not from sin or eternal damnation.  So even this is hardly a comparison to Jesus.

http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html#5
http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#4
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns1.html#1
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns3.html#26
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses3.html#6
http://www.gods-heros-myth.com/godpages/dionysus.html
http://www.tektonics.org/tekton_04_02_04_DDD.html
http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Dionysus2.html
http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/dionysus.html

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The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah's Ark:
http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab1.htm

*Worldwide flood caused by rain would destroy everything
*A single righteous man: Ut-Napishtim or Noah
*The main characters were instructed to build an ark of wood with compartments, and have a single door
*The arc settled on a mountain in the Middle East
*Two birds returned to the ark, but not the third
*An animal was offered as a sacrifice upon landing
*The Gods in both stories expressed remorse for what they did
I have not researched the claims of parallels here, but don't see quite how they matter.  Moses was writing about events that supposedly took place before Gilgamesh was written.  If the flood really happened, and the writer of Gilgamesh simply wrote about the flood first, then of course Moses, writing about the exact same flood, is going to write a similar story.  Just as someone writing about the Kennedy assassination today is going to write a similar to story as someone who wrote about the Kennedy assassination in the seventies.

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Osiris
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/o/osiris.html
*Body chopped up and scattered throughout the nation - Judges 20:6
In most versions, he's slain and cut into pieces by Seth (his son in many version, his brother in other versions), so this hardly corresponds to Jesus.

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*Virgin mother
Nope.  His mother was the goddess Nut (I'm saying her name is 'Nut', not that she's a nut).

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*Rose from the grave to judge the souls of the dead
In almost every version, he does not come back from the dead.  There is one version in which Isis resurrects him, but I've only seen it mentioned in one source, and even that source admits this version is rare, and was thus likely unknown to the Israelites.

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0836984.html

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1. His mother was a virgin woman: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Krishna, Mithra, Zoroaster
Attis: While Attis was conceived non-sexually, no texts make the claim that Nana was a virgin.
Buddha: According to Ashvaghosha, Buddha was born of the King of Shakyas and his wife, Maya.  He wrote that they "tasted of love's delights" before Buddha was born, thus Buddha was certainly not born of a virgin. The earliest accounts suggest nothing unusual about Buddha's birth, but later (still pre-Christian) versions suggest Buddha was conceived non-sexually.
Dionysus: As addressed above, his mother, Semele, was impregnanted sexually by Zeus. (http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#3)
Krishna: Since, according to legend, Krishna had seven older siblings, it's unlikely his mother, Devaki, was a virgin (and there's no tradition saying she was).
Mithra: There is no support for the idea that Mithra was born of a virgin.
Zoroaster: Zoroaster's mom was married when she gave birth to him, and there's nothing suggesting she was celibate while married.  The "ray of divine reason" was apparently a purely spiritual thing, and Zoroaster's body actually was created the usual way.

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2. He was born on December 25: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
Attis: While many gods have their birth dates celebrated on December 25th (including Jesus, though this date is not ascribed to his birth in any biblical writing), Attis’ birthday has never been celebrated on December 25th.
Buddha: His birthday is never celebrated on (or believed to be) December 25th (by some traditions, it's May 8th - hey, that's my birthday!  I guess I'm a myth!), and there was no star or angels at his birth by any tradition. The king did invite 108 Brahmins to the palace to celebrate his birth, and these could be called 'wise men'.  However, there were no 'wise men' of any sort at Jesus' birth, as the Biblical appearance of the wise men happened at Jesus' home in Bethlehem when He was one or two years old.
Dionysus: Actually, his birth was always celebrated on January 6th.
Horus: Horus was given three different birthdates in mythology, one of which does correspond to December 25th.  But since Jesus wasn't, per the evidence, born on 12/25, this isn't a parallel.
Krishna: According to krishna.avatara.org, Krishna was born on the "8th day of the dark half of the month of Sravana. This corresponds to July 19th 3228 BC."  I've seen other sites say he was born in August.
Mithra: Since nowhere in the New Testament does it state that Jesus was born on December 25th, this could not be called a comparison.

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3. His earthly (adopted) father was a carpenter: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: No, his human father (his only father, for that matter) was a man named Vasuveda.  I have found no sources suggesting that he was a carpenter.  I even did internet searches on the combination of "Vasuveda" and "Carpenter" in Google, Yahoo and Infoseek, and got no hits except for articles written about Krishna by people whose last names were 'Carpenter'.  In fact, he was most likely a dairy farmer.  In some versions of the Krishna story, his father is King Kansa (who is also not a carpenter), who is also Devaki's brother.  Some web sites state that Kansa is Devaki's cousin or uncle, but followers assure me Kansa is Devaki's brother.

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4. His birth was signaled by a heavenly star: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna
Buddha: There was no star at his birth by any tradition.
Horus: By Acharya's source for the claims appears to be Massey, who says "the Star in the East that arose to announce the birth of the babe (Jesus) was Orion, which is therefore called the star of Horus. That was once the star of the three kings; for the 'three kings' is still a name of three stars in Orion's belt . . . "  Massey's apparently getting mixed up, and then the critics are misinterpreting it.  Orion is not a star, but a constellation, of which there are three stars in a row making up the belt of Orion.  However, there is no evidence that these three stars were called the "Three Kings" prior to Jesus' time, nor even prior to the 17th century, for that matter. And even if there is a specific star called 'the star of Horus', there's no legend stating that it announced Horus' birth (as the critics are claiming) or that the three stars in Orion's belt attended Horus' birth in any way.
Krishna: I've found no mention of this in any Krishna story.

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5. At his birth, shepherds presented him with gifts: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
Buddha: As said before the king did invite 108 Brahmins to the palace to celebrate his birth, and these could be called 'wise men'.  However, there were no 'wise men' of any sort at Jesus' birth, as the Biblical appearance of the wise men happened at Jesus' home in Bethlehem when He was one or two years old.  The forementioned Brahmins did predict that Buddha would be either the ruler of the world or the greatest religious founder of the world, and Buddha (apparently quite smart for an infant) chose the latter.  So in Buddha's case, he was not pronounced ruler of the world.  And as for Jesus, He was not pronounced ruler of the world at His birth, either, so how would it compare even if this was true for Buddha? As for the gifts, while it could be assumed that, as the child of a king, Buddha would be given costly presents, no texts specifically say that he was bestowed with such gifts.  And, again, as for Jesus, He was not given costly gifts at His birth.  The delivery of the frankincense, gold, and myrrh happened when the wise men came to Jesus' home when he was one or two years old, not at the manger when he was just born.
Horus: There were no “three wise men” at Horus’ birth, or at Jesus’ for that matter (the Bible never gives the number of wise men, and they showed up at Jesus’ home, not at the manger, probably when Jesus was a year or two old).
Krishna: I found this site (http://www.vedanta-atlanta.org/stories/Krishna2.html), written by a follower of Krishna, which gives the story of the birth of Krishna, and even makes some general comparisons between Krishna and Jesus (that they were both born of a woman, born in this world and were 'God-on-Earth'), yet it mentions nothing about angels, shepherds, or spices.  I haven't found such comparisons anywhere else, either.  Manali points out that Krishna was visited by cowherds after his birth, since his family was in the dairy business.
Mithra: There are texts suggesting that shepherds were present at Mithra’s birth and helped dig him out of the mountain, but these are Roman texts dating to no earlier than the 2nd century A.D., and thus were most likely influenced by the New Testament writings, instead of being an influence upon them.

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6. He was born in a manger or a cave: Jesus, Dionysus, Mithra
Dionysus: He was never placed in a manger in any version of the story.
Mithra: Mithra was formed within a solid mountain, not within a cave. While, logically, a cave was left behind once Mithra dug himself out, saying he was born in a cave is wrong. There are texts suggesting that shepherds were present at Mithra’s birth and helped dig him out of the mountain, but these are Roman texts dating to no earlier than the 2nd century A.D., and thus were most likely influenced by the New Testament writings, instead of being an influence upon them.

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7. As a baby, he is declared a king. Wise men present him with gifts of gold: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
Buddha: I'm just going to repeat what has been said. Sort of true for Buddha, but not true for Jesus.  The forementioned Brahmins did predict that Buddha would be either the ruler of the world or the greatest religious founder of the world, and Buddha (apparently quite smart for an infant) chose the latter.  So in Buddha's case, he was not pronounced ruler of the world.  And as for Jesus, He was not pronounced ruler of the world at His birth, either, so how would it compare even if this was true for Buddha? As for the gifts, while it could be assumed that, as the child of a king, Buddha would be given costly presents, no texts specifically say that he was bestowed with such gifts.  And, again, as for Jesus, He was not given costly gifts at His birth.  The delivery of the frankincense, gold, and myrrh happened when the wise men came to Jesus' home when he was one or two years old, not at the manger when he was just born.
Krishna: It seems like you repeated the claim. I'll repost. I found this site (http://www.vedanta-atlanta.org/stories/Krishna2.html), written by a follower of Krishna, which gives the story of the birth of Krishna, and even makes some general comparisons between Krishna and Jesus (that they were both born of a woman, born in this world and were 'God-on-Earth'), yet it mentions nothing about angels, shepherds, or spices.  I haven't found such comparisons anywhere else, either.  Manali points out that Krishna was visited by cowherds after his birth, since his family was in the dairy business.

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8. Angels or other good divine spirits sang songs or danced at his birth: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
Buddha: No angels at his birth by any tradition
Krishna: As said above no mention of angels or divine spirits in the tradition.

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9. He was threatened by a king or tyrant who tried to kill him as an infant: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses
Buddha: First of all, there are many versions of the Buddha story, and this event occurs only in a rare version unfamiliar to most Buddhists.  Secondly, this event doesn't correspond to the Biblical story of Herod's attempt to kill Jesus in Matthew chapter 2.  Matthew wrote that killing Jesus was Herod's idea.  In the Buddha story, the king in question (Bimbasara) is advised to destroy Buddha, but rejects this advice.  So while Bimbasara is advised to kill Buddha, Herod is not advised to kill Jesus.  While Herod wants, and attempts, to kill Jesus, Bimbasara does not want, or attempt, to kill Buddha.
Krishna: While there is a parallel here, it's not the one the critics claim.  According to Manali, "after Kansa failed to kill Krishna, and came to know that the baby has been born and is living somewhere, he called upon his army to search the entire city of Mathura and its suburbs, to find and kill all the infants born in the same period as Krishna. Thus he ended up killing several infants, and there are several stories of how miraculously Krishna as a baby escaped the killings."  So it was "several" infants, not thousands.  Also, the number of infants killed by Herod when he found out about Jesus couldn't have been much more than about twenty according to most scholars, so it wasn't "thousands" there, either.  So replace "thousands of" with "several" in the claim, and there is a parallel.  However, the earliest version of this story in the Krishna tradition probably dates from the 4th to 6th century A.D., well after the Jesus story had been in circulation.  Some date the Krishna story as early as 2nd century A.D., but even this is after the Gospel accounts were written.
Moses: LOL

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10. He was of royal lineage: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
Buddha: This one's true, but not very meaningful.  Buddha was the son of a king, while Jesus was a distant descendant (along with most of His neighbors) of King David.  Millions of people are descended from royalty somewhere down the line (I've even heard a theory that all Europeans are descendants of Charlemagne), so this one is hardly unique of either of them.
Horus: This one’s true!  But it's not really a comparison to Jesus.  When followers speak of Jesus being of 'royal descent', they usually mean His being a descendent of King David, an earthly king.  Horus was, according to the myth, descended from heavenly royalty (as Jesus was), being the son of the main god.

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11. He taught at the temple as a child and astounded all who heard him with his wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Zoroaster
Buddha: Well, the first word is true.  He indeed 'taught'.  But it wasn't in a temple. Also he was fifteen.
Horus: He never taught in any temple
Zoroaster: Nope. At age 7, he was put under the care of magi, who he frequently argued with.  Later, the magi had him imprisoned, but he was freed after he made the legs grow back on a horse.

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12. He was baptized at a river: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Zoroaster
Buddha: There's nothing in any Buddha story or tradition about his being baptized.
Horus: Again, Horus was never baptized.
Zoroaster: Zoroaster receives a revelation while on the banks of a river.  That's the closest parallel to be found.

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13. His hapless baptizer is later decapitated: Jesus, Horus
Horus: There is no “Anup the Baptizer” in the story.

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14. He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil: Jesus, Zoroaster
Zoroaster: There is a parallel in the Zoroaster story to Jesus' temptation, and, yes, it does apparently predate the Jesus story by a couple hundred years.  However, Zoroaster's "temptation" wasn't by the "devil" (in Zoroastrian literature, Ahriman) and it may or may not have been in the wilderness (the texts don't say).  Zoroaster is tempted by a demon, not by Ahriman himself.  And his temptation doesn't involve turning stones to bread or leaping from towers, just dialogue between Zoroaster and the demon.

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15. He was a traveling teacher of great wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, Mithra
Buddha: Depends on the wisdom, claiming the natural world does not exist isn't quite wisdom. And he pointed to an abstract truth, whereas Jesus IS the truth because He is the God-incarnate.
Dionysus: Jesus traveled in a limited area, while Dionysus supposedly traveled to most of the known world (including Greece, Persia and Arabia) and his wisdom was based on judgment not positive.
Mithra: First of all, any religious figure could logically be described as a great traveling teacher and master. However, this label does NOT seem to apply to Mithra. Great and Master, perhaps. But nowhere in his story does he travel or teach.

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16. His ministry preached a message of charity, peace and love. He lived in poverty and loved the poor: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: A Hindu follower has said that "Krishna never lived as a poor person.  The Yadav Caste (of which Krishna was a member) are dairy farmers, and, since milk is an important commodity, they have always been quite wealthy by Indian standards".  A second follower, Manali, says that "Krishna did live poor during parts of his childhood, when he was under the care of foster parents.  When Kansa's reign ended and he was welcomed back into the royal family, he never lived poor again." But when we say that Jesus "lived poor", we're talking about his entire life, childhood and adulthood, so this isn't a comparison.  Besides that, many people throughout history have lived poor and loved the poor, it's not hard to believe that Krishna and/or Jesus may have been among them.

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17. He taught of heaven and hell, revealed mysteries, resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse: Jesus, Zoroaster
Zoroaster: Zoroaster did teach about heaven and hell, and resurrection into a non-dying body.  Judgment is done by other gods, but with Zoroaster pleading the case of those who are faithful to him, though, unlike with Christianity, the faithful are not automatically saved.  Salvation is achieved by works alone, unlike Christianity.  And the apocalypse Zoroaster spoke of was a flood of molten metal.  Sounds like a pretty good comparison, huh?  However, most of this is from post-Christian writings.  Also, most of these subjects begin on the Bible's Old Testament, which predates the earliest Zoroastrian references by several hundred years.

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18. He gave a famous sermon on a mountain: Jesus, Horus
Horus: Horus never delivered such a sermon.

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19. He had 12 disciples: Jesus, Horus, Mithra
Horus: Horus had four disciples (called ‘Heru-Shemsu’). There’s another reference to sixteen followers, and a group of followers called ‘mesnui’ (blacksmiths) who join Horus in battle, but are never numbered. But there’s no reference to twelve followers or any of them being named “Anup” or “Aan”.
Mithra: In the Persian version of the Mithra story, he has one disciple, Varuna. In the Roman version, he has two, Cautes and Cautopatres. The source for this claim seems to be an old carving of Mithra slaying a bull while 12 people watch on. That these 12 people are companions or disciples is not suggested, and besides, this carving dates to post-Christian times anyways, so if they WERE meant to be disciples of some sort, they were likely influenced by Christianity, not the other way around.

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20. He gave his disciples the power to work miracles: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: Not found in any version of tradition.
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« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2011, 09:54:21 AM »

21. He was transfigured in front of his disciples, sometimes described as shining as the sun: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna
Buddha:This one's sort of true.  For Buddha, his transfiguration had to do with him reaching a certain level in his spiritual evolution, which caused outward physical changes.  For Jesus, His transfiguration was His revealing who He was from the beginning.  Jesus' transfiguration had nothing to do with his attaining any sort of higher level.
Horus: No, he was not.
Krishna: Not found in any version of tradition.

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22. He healed the sick and the injured: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Mithra, Serapis, Zoroaster
Buddha: In the Digha Nikaya, Chapter 11 (which was oral tradition from the 5th century B.C. and finally written down in the 1st century B.C.), Buddha is discussing miracles with Kevatta.  Kevatta suggests that a display of psychic powers from one of his monks would increase the faith of the locals.  Buddha responds, ""Kevatta, there are these three miracles that I have declared, having directly known and realized them for myself. Which three? The miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction."  Buddha proceeeds to list off examples of psychic powers: "Having been one he [the monk] becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful." Of course, if this one parallel were significant enough to suggest that Jesus borrowed from Buddha, then why have Christ-mythers bothered to fabricate all of these other parallels about Buddha?  Obviously, the people who fabricated the claims didn't find this one particularly convincing.
Horus: No record of him healing the sick or injured only performed miracles.
Krishna: He worked miracles but of healing the sick or injured I have not found any record of.
Mithra: This is true, and claims of Mithra’s miracles do date to the pre-Christian Persian versions. But miracles themselves date to far earlier (Noah story, anyone?). So the idea that Jesus’ miracles were inspired by Mithra’s miracles is rather ridiculous. Since Mithra never did anything which equates to Jesus’ miracles (such as walking on water or raising the dead), this could not be called a significant comparison. And again no mention of healing sick or injured.
Serapis: Serapis was said to "give life, strength, health, to thy nostrils for ever" (and everyone knows the importance of having healthy nostrils).  But there is no indication here of his truly healing the sick as Jesus did.  What Serapis is claimed to have done is kept the healthy healthy.
Zoroaster: No mention of healing the sick or injured.

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23. He cast out demons: Jesus, Horus, Zoroaster
Horus: Never exorcised demons
Zoroaster: There's no reference to Zoroaster casting out demons

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24. He fed hundreds or thousands with magically generated food: Jesus, Buddha
Buddha: No mention of magically generating food, I mentioned his three miracles above.

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25. He walked on water: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
Buddha: I brought this up above but he refers to a psychic power "He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land."
Horus: No, he did not.

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26. He brought back the dead: Jesus, Horus
Horus: Nope.

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27. He turned water into wine: Jesus, Dionysus
Dionysus: Mentioned this before copying it again here. The earliest possible reference to Dionysus turning water into wine was by Achilles Tatius in the Greek Romance, "The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon" which was written in the 2nd century A.D.  It mentions a Tyranian myth about Dionysus introducing wine to the world, with Dionysus calling it "the water of summer" and saying "This is the water, this is the spring".  It's not clear whether this a real Tyranian myth being mentioned here (in which case it may be pre-Christian) or just something Tatius was inventing for the purposes of this story.  Either way, Dionysus is not actually turning water into wine, but simply calling the wine a type of water.  And we cannot reliably date this myth to any earlier than the second century A.D.

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28. His followers were admonished to take vows of poverty and renounce worldly desires: Jesus, Buddha
Buddha: True of Buddha, but not true of Jesus.  While many Christians do take vows of poverty and renounce the world, Jesus Himself never told all of His followers to do such things.  Of course, there is the story of Jesus telling a wealthy young ruler to give everything he has to the poor, but this was a specific command to one man, not a general command to all followers.

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29. He was called such exalted titles as "Lord", "Master", "Light of the World", "Holy One", "Redeemer", "The Way", "The Truth", etc.: Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
Buddha: Of the above, Buddha was only called 'Lord'.
Dionysus: Of these, Dionysus is only referred to as 'savior' (which you don't have listed and I mentioned this above).  And in the context in which he is referred to 'savior', he is saving people from the wrath of Pentheus, not from sin or eternal damnation.  So even this is hardly a comparison to Jesus.
Horus: The only titles Horus is given are “Great God”, “Chief of the Powers”, “Master of Heaven”, and “Avenger of His Father”. None of the above titles are in any Egyptian mythology.
Krishna: He was never referred to by these titles.
Mithra: Mithra was never called any of these things, even in the Roman version of Mithraism

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30. He is called "Logos" or "The Word": Jesus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra, Prometheus, Zoroaster
Horus: Nope.
Krishna: Nope.
Mithra: Nope.
Prometheus: Yes, but not commonly, and not with the same meaning at which Jesus is called 'Logos'.  Christians believe that Jesus is the Word (Logos) of God manifested into the flesh.  The Greek mythologian Plutarch called Prometheus "reason" (also Logos), but did not mean in the sense of Prometheus being the Word of Zeus.
Zoroaster: No reference to this, implicit or explicit.

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31. He was called "the anointed one" (how "Christ" translates): Jesus, Dionysus, Horus
Dionysus: Nope.
Horus: He was never referred to by either of these titles.  "Krst", in Egyptian, means "burial", by the way.  It wasn't a title.

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32. He was known to his followers as a Shepherd of Humanity: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Serapis
Buddha: Buddha was considered not considered Shepherd of Humanity.
Horus: This title are not in any Egyptian mythology.
Mithra: Mithra was never called ‘the good shepherd’ or identified with any lamb. He was identified with a lion, but since the lion is associated with Judeo-Christianity all the way back to the book of Genesis, this hardly suggests that Jesus’ lion was inspired by Mithra’s lion. And besides, any references to lions in Mithraic literature date to post-Christian times, making this even less significant.
Serapis: No, he wasn't.

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33. He was known as a fisher, associated with the fish: Jesus, Horus
Horus: He was never referred to as 'a fisher'. Acharya S.'s footnotes on this claim only show an association with fish (which is that Horus WAS a fish, unlike Jesus), with no evidence of his being called 'the fisher' or 'a fisher'.

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34. He's identified with the ram or lamb: Jesus, Dionysus, Horus, Mithra
Dionysus: In one version, he is born with horns on his head like that of a ram.  That's the only mention of a ram in any Dionysus literature, and doesn't compare to Jesus' story at all.
Horus: There are no lamb or ram in any of the stories.
Mithra: No mention of ram or lamb.

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35. He's identified with the lion: Jesus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
Horus: See above, no identification with a lion.
Krishna: Nope
Mithra: As repeated here, he was identified with a lion, but since the lion is associated with Judeo-Christianity all the way back to the book of Genesis, this hardly suggests that Jesus’ lion was inspired by Mithra’s lion. And besides, any references to lions in Mithraic literature date to post-Christian times, making this even less significant.

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36. He came not to destroy but to fulfill the law: Jesus, Buddha, Horus
Buddha: Nope.  He preached the law, but made no mention of the fulfillment or destruction of the law.
Horus: There was no “law” he was supposed to fulfill.

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37. He rode in a triumphal procession on a donkey: Jesus, Dionysus
Dionysus: Repeated from above,  Dionysus was dipicted riding a donkey while a crowd waved ivy branches - the typical homecoming for any royal figure.  The crowd welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem were imitating this sort of homecoming, though using the traditional palm branches of Israel.  So while this could be called a sort of imitation, it's an imitation committed by the people in the story itself, not by any writer, and had nothing to do with Dionysus in particular.  The latter quotes come from the book "The Jesus Mysteries" by Freke and Gandy.  Their only reference is to a depiction of a scene from Orphic eschatology which, oddly, has nothing to do with Dionysus.

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38. He condemned the clergy for their ambition and hypocrisy. He would later fall victim to their scheming: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: Not found in any version.

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39. He crushed a serpent's head: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna
Buddha: Tradition mentions Buddha killing a serpent, but it doesn't say that he crushed its head (the exact method of execution isn't given).  Mara was AN "evil one", not THE "evil one" (the critic here is clearly trying to imply that she was the Buddhist equivalent of the devil, when in fact Mara was one of many demons).  Other than the fact that both Buddha and Jesus were tempted while fasting by an evil being, which I'll admit is somewhat of a coincidence, there's not much to compare the two stories.  Buddha was not in a desert, as Jesus was.  Buddha was tempted with incestual pleasures and fear of death, while Jesus was tempted with hunger, putting God to the test, and idolatry.  Besides that, the temptations of Jesus bear far more of a resemblance to the temptations of the Israelites in the book of Exodus (which predates Buddha) than they do to the temptations of Buddha, so any claim that Buddha's temptations are the basis of Jesus' temptations are ridiculous.
Krishna: This cannot be found in any version of the story.

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40. Declared the savior of humanity, slain for our salvation: Jesus, Attis, Krishna, Mithra
Attis: Attis was not a savior and was never recognized as one. There are various versions of how he died. In most of them, he commits suicide by emasculating himself under a tree. Even in the ones in which he is slain (in one version Zeus sends a boar to kill him, in another a king rapes and murders Attis), it's not for the salvation of mankind in any sens
Krishna: He was never referred to by savior of humanity nor slain for our salvation.
Mithra: Mithra slayed a bull. He was not a bull. He did not slay himself or sacrifice himself in any sense, and the slaying of the bull wasn’t for world peace. For that matter, Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t for world peace, either, but for salvation for those individuals who choose to follow Him.
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« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2011, 10:30:53 AM »

41. He sometimes is known by a heart symbol: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: Uhhhh no.

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42. His body and/or blood is consumed through bread/wine in a symbolic ritual: Jesus, Attis, Dionysus, Mithra, Zoroaster
Attis: His followers had a ceremony in which they ate bread and drank either wine or milk, but neither was recognized as being symbolic in any way of Attis’ body.
Dionysus: There exists an unofficial story (that is, not part of the general understanding of the Dionysus story) in which he is, as an infant, attacked by Titans who eat everything but his heart.  Zeus destroys the Titans, and restores Dionysus from the remaining heart.  Who would call the Jesus story a 'copycat' of that story?  Taking this 'similarity' apart, yes, Dionysus was killed.  His actual body was eaten, but since Jesus' body was not (the eating of Jesus' body is a metaphorical thing), this is not a comparison.  Also, Dionysus wasn't eaten in any sort of ritual for fecundity or purification.  In fact, the eating of Dionysus is clearly a bad thing (unlike the eating of Jesus' body) and is punished by death.  Also, he wasn't a sacred king.  The king was Zeus, not Dionysus.
Mithra: The closest thing the Mithraic religion has to Jesus’ last supper is the celebration of a meal Mithra had with the sun god after slaying the bull. But nowhere is this called a ‘eucharist’ or ‘Lord’s Supper’, and since it happened AFTER Mithra’s ‘sacrifice’ and not before (as Jesus’ was), it’s hardly a comparison. As for the quote, the earliest quote along these lines in Mithraic texts dates to post-Christian times and, besides that, wasn’t said by Mithra, but by Zarathustra.
Zoroaster: Since they believe in salvation by works alone, why would they have a eucharist?  The closest thing they have to a eucharist is a ritual involving the haoma plant, but they don't claim the plant is Zoroaster's body or blood.  Besides, the earliest reference to this ritual is post-Christian.

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43. He had a sacred cup or grail: Jesus, Zoroaster
Zoroaster: First of all, Zoroaster did not have a sacred cup or grail.  Second of all, Jesus (at least according to the Bible) did not have a sacred cup or grail.  The Christian "holy grail" is believed by some to be the cup Jesus drank from at the last supper, and others say it was a chalice that collected Jesus' blood at the crucifixion.  But as far as its being 'sacred', the Bible makes no such claim.  This is a medieval non-Biblical legend.

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44. He died while hung from a cross or a tree: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna
Attis: Attis died under a tree, and shed blood which made flowers. Of course, the 'tree' Jesus died on was a crucifix, not an actual tree.  There is no reference anywhere to Attis dying on a Friday (of any color), being crucified, or redeeming the Earth.
Buddha: Buddha didn't die on a cross in any traditions. Every reference I've seen states that he died at the age of 80 of a natural illness. A buddhist did point out that Buddha actually died of poisoning.  Most of the sites I'm finding about Buddha don't mention this, but some do.  This does appear to be the case.
Dionysus: This was no a 'sacrificial' title in any sense.  He was simply called 'Young Man of the Tree'.  How does that suggest he was hung on a tree or crucified?
Horus: Horus was never crucified. There’s an unofficial story in which he dies and is cast in pieces into the water, then later fished out by a crocodile at Isis’ request. This unofficial story is the only one in which he dies at all.
Krishna: Critics claim this, but never back it up.  The only method of demise that I can find is his being shot in the foot by a hunter's arrow, and then either died or disappeared.  If anyone out there can give me an example of a tradition in which he is crucified, please let me know.  Acharya S's footnote on this one makes claims about other mythological figures being crucified, but makes no mention of Krishna being crucified. Jacolliot does make the claim of Krishna being affixed to a tree with arrows after he was killed, but doesn't mention anything about two thieves, and since Krishna was already dead and no crucifix was involved, this was hardly a crucifixion.  And no one has ever been able to back up Jacolliot's claim, anyway, making it likely fraudulent.  And even if not fraudulent, this story postdates Christianity by over 1800 years and was thus certainly influenced by Christianity.

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45. His good friend, a fisherman named Peter/Petraeus, would desert him: Jesus, Prometheus
Prometheus: The critics here are referring back to Oceanus, with one of them stating that the names Oceanus and Patraeus are interchangable.  The critic fails to explain how they're interchangable, and there's no rules in Greek language or name systems which would suggest that they are.  Oceanus was a fellow titan associated with rivers, though there is no reference to his being a fisherman or catching any fish.  In "Prometheus Bound", he appears briefly, offering to intercede with Zeus over a disagreement between Zeus and Prometheus.  Prometheus sends Oceanus away, afraid that his intercession would put Oceanus at risk.  This hardly qualifies as "deserting" Prometheus, at least not in any of the sense that Peter deserted Jesus.

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46. He was crucified between two thieves: Jesus, Horus, Krishna
Horus: Again Horus was never crucified.
Krishna: See above, no mention of two thieves and even the story itself postdates 1800 years from Christianity.

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47. He was around the age of 30 when he was crucified: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: According to tradition, Krishna was 125 when he died.  Only off by 95 years!

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48. At his death, the sun darkened or there were other grim supernatural signs: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: There's nothing about the sun darkening at his death.

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49. He went to the underworld for three days: Jesus, Attis, Mithra
Attis: That he did. But again, this was almost certainly influenced by Christian writings.
Mithra: There’s no references in any Mithraic literature to Mithra dying at all, much less descending into the underworld.

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50. He was resurrected: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra
Attis: There is no reference to Attis being resurrected. In one version, Agdistis (Attis’ father) asks Zeus to resurrect Attis, but Zeus merely makes it so that Attis’ finger moves continuously and his body remains uncorrupted. Attis does not come back to life in this, or any, version of the story.  Also, this story dates to 150 A.D. at the earliest.
Buddha: Nope.  Buddha was cremated upon his death and was not resurrected in any tradition.
Dionysus: The story is hardly similar to the story of Jesus' resurrection and is an unofficial story anyways
Horus: As for resurrected, this one is at best a "maybe".  The source for this claim is the Metternich Stela (aka the Magical Stela), which dates to the 4th century B.C.  It describes Horus, while hiding in a marsh with his mother, Isis, being bitten by a poisonous scorpion.  Isis cries out for help.  In the Budge translation of the stela, it says "In answer to these words Thoth, turning to Isis and Nephthys, bade them to fear not, and to have no anxiety about Horus, "For," said he, "I have come from heaven to heal the child for his mother." He then pointed out that Horus was under protection as the Dweller in his Disk (Aten), the Great Dwarf, the Mighty Ram, the Great Hawk, the Holy Beetle, the Hidden Body, the Divine Bennu, etc., and proceeded to utter the great spell which restored Horus to life."  While this translation suggests a resurrection, the problem is that other sources disagree with it, saying that the stela claims that Horus was merely sickened, then cured.  Even Budge's translation says that Thoth came to "heal the child", and you don't heal a corpse.  The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org), which is the museum where the stela is currently located, says the following about the inscription: "Isis speaks and recounts that while she and Horus were still hiding in the marshes, the child became ill. In her despair, she cried for help to the "Boat of Eternity" (the sun boat in which the god travels over the sky), and the sun disk stopped opposite her and did not move from his place." Thoth was sent from the sun boat to help Isis and cured Horus by reciting a catalogue of spells." (source:  http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/50.85 ).  Other sources also agree that the Stela says "sickened, then cured" rather than "killed, then resurrected", such as this one: http://www.scribd.com/doc/14561350/metternich-stela
Krishna: The closest parallel comes in some later versions in which Krishna's body turned into a log-like image which floated around the East coast of India, finally ending up in a temple in the town of Puri. But he neither rose from the dead or ascended to Heaven.
Mithra: There’s no references in any Mithraic literature to Mithra dying at all, much less being resurrected. There are some external sources suggesting that Mithra died (though how he died is not made clear), but these date to the 4th century at the earliest. I’d say that this would mean they were inspired by Christianity, but since they don’t mention any burial in a tomb or resurrection, I’d say we couldn’t call it ‘inspired’ at all.

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51. He was resurrected during the springtime, the date of which would become a day of celebration among his followers: Jesus, Attis, Dionysus, Mithra
Attis: There is no reference to Attis being resurrected.
Dionysus: Nowhere is springtime or the date of March 25th given in any Dionysus story.  The date of his "resurrection" after his murder by the Titans is given as November 8th (and as shown in the above answer, this story is hardly similar to the story of Jesus' resurrection and is an unofficial story anyways).  There is an ancient reference to Dionysus being "a god who renews himself and returns every year rejuvenated", but this doesn't involve death.  Besides that, Jesus didn't rise from the dead on March 25th either.  While an exact date is not given, most scholars believe that His crucifixion happened no earlier than March 28th, making His resurrection no earlier than March 30th.
Mithra: There’s no references in any Mithraic literature to Mithra dying at all, much less being resurrected.

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52. His sacred day is Sunday: Jesus, Mithra
Mithra: Mithraists did not appoint Sunday as Mithra’s day until post-Christian times.

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53. He is the second part of a divine trinity and/or considered to be one with his father god: Jesus, Attis, Krishna
Attis: Actually, in the most common version of the story, Attis was the grandson of Zeus. His father was an androgynous creature named Agdistis who was disliked by the gods, including his father Zeus. In other versions, Attis had human parents. Attis’ name appears to mean ‘father’ and he was a consort of Cybele, the mother goddess. But Attis had no children and was never recognized as any sort of symbolic father figure. So other than his name meaning father (which is of no parallel to Jesus), there's nothing to this claim other than his being a descendent of a god.
Krishna: Sort of.  The first Hindu follower who responded to this site states, "That Krishna is an avtar of Vishnu would make him the second god of the Hindu threesome".  However, he also acknowledges that the form of the threesome has changed over the years, and besides that, "The Hindu threesome cannot be equated even remotely with the Christian trinity."  The Hindu trinity is three separate beings, not the three-in-one of the Christian trinity.

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54. He promises to return one day: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, Zoroaster
Buddha: There is no mention in Buddhism of the old Buddha returning.  They believe there will be a completely separate Buddha who will be born.  This Buddha will restore order and bring world peace, but not judge the dead.  Jesus made no promise of restoring order or bringing world peace on His return.
Horus: Nope.
Krishna: This is another claim originating with Jacolliot and cannot be dated to earlier than the 19th century.  Nor is it backed up by any evidence besides Jacolliot's claim. Manali pointed me to these two passages in the "Bhagvad Gita": "whenever there is a fall of sustenance; when it goes down, the righteousness falls off, to kill, to destroy these horrible negative forces: to save and sustain the saints, I come in every age in human form." "To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium." Manali says that Krishna is born into a new body in order to return (reincarnation), so this does not compare to Jesus, who is said to be returning in the same body He had in the 1st century.
Zoroaster: There's nothing about his being the redeemer being Zoroaster himself.  Even the religion disagrees with itself on exactly what's going to happen, though the date of 2341 CE is given (although how this date compares to Jesus, I have no idea).  A pre-Christian text (around 400 B.C.) refers to a single redeemer who ushers in a golden age.  Later post-Christian texts suggest there will be three redeemers conceived by virgins who bathe in a lake in which Zoroaster's sperm is being divinely preserved.  One of these redeemers will eradicate death.  Only the one pre-Christian reference could be considered valid, but that one mentions nothing about the return of Zoroaster himself or virgin birth.

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55. When he comes again, he will ride on a white horse to do battle with the prince of evil: Jesus, Krishna
Krishna: No evidence to back up the claim which dates back to the 19th Century by Jacillot.

Sources: http://www.webcom.com/~ara/
http://webonautics.com/mythology/mythology.html
http://www.thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses10.html#2
http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Attis.html
http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/1769/attis.htm
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/D1A.HTM
http://www.tektonics.org/tekton_04_02_04_PPP.html
http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/A/Atys.html
http://webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_buddha.html
http://www.buddhanet.net/
http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/buddha01.html
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/buddha.html
http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html#5
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns1.html#1
http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns3.html#26
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses3.html#6
http://www.kingdavid8.com/Copycat/Home.html
http://www.thenazareneway.com/index_egyptain_book_dead.htm
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/horus.html
http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/religion/osiris.htm#horus
http://www.tektonics.org/osy.html
http://www.well.com/user/davidu/mithras.html
http://www.iranian.com/History/Sept97/Mitra/
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/D0.HTM
http://www.tektonics.org/tekton_04_02_04_MMM.html
http://othello.alma.edu/~07tmhopk/mithra.html
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0836984.html
http://www.zoroaster.net/indexe.htm
http://www.tektonics.org/zoroaster.html

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Now why would I bother watching more "Jesus myth" propaganda when I have thoroughly destroyed your theory?
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« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2011, 10:54:52 AM »

"Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)
The Exodus passage has many meanings.  It tells us not to worship false gods, or to treat ourselves or our possessions as gods, but to put the one true God before anything else in our lives.  Not a contradiction.

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"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
The passage in Genesis makes reference to the plural nature of God (evidenced by the trinity, which I don't have the space to get into here, but it doesn't contradict the idea of a single God. It basically means that God is able to manifest Himself into different parts).

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"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)
See above.

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You can reference The Evolution of God on Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded
What does that have to do with Christianity (as far as redactionalism is concerned?)

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History records that the ancient people in the area of the Middle East, including the Hebrews, believed in many goddesses and gods. Yahweh served only as their god, a god among many others.
Back up your claim. A single video in the lines of "The God Who Wasn't There" isn't sufficient enough proof for me.

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"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
...ok?

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Christianity is really the evolution of denying the existence of all other GOD's in favor of their singular GOD even though their History is directly tied to polytheism.
See above.

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It's a self-historical contradiction, and a perfect example of the evolution of the God Concept..
Not really. Christianity believes in one God. There is no evolution from the starting point of Christianity in regards to the concept of God. In fact it's Christian dogma (The Holy Trinity)

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(Deuteronomy 9:3 NIV) But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
How does this even reference worshipping the sun? Do you even understand what it means by God acting as a devouring fire? It's not to be taken physically, from my understanding.

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27And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.
So a finite man writing in pre-scientific times is trying to describe the energies of God using the basic terms that he has at his disposal.

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Malachi intimates the appearance of the sun with the name of God. "Hosts" refers to the stars: 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)
Uh no it doesn't. It means lord of many people or lord of an army (of angels).

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for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:29)
Yes a fire of Love.

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
LOL what does that have anything to do with sun worshiping? Great golden lamps in the temple court were lit during the feast of Tabernacles: therefore the appropriateness of Jesus' claim. As someone who is following Christ, I am no longer in darkness.

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Hence the GOD of light is actually supposed to be the Sun itself.
The sun is the sun and the God is God. This is getting ridiculous..
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« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2011, 11:19:47 AM »

No offense to you Jackel, but it is very hard for me to take you seriously on Christianity when you still subscribe to the Christ-myth theory. No serious atheist worth their salt I have debated with even holds to the theory anymore. It truly is a dead thesis.
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« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2011, 12:05:06 PM »

No offense to you Jackel, but it is very hard for me to take you seriously on Christianity when you still subscribe to the Christ-myth theory. No serious atheist worth their salt I have debated with even holds to the theory anymore. It truly is a dead thesis.

This is quite true. I'm surprised atheists still bring this up. At least it's entertaining though...

In all seriousness, though, I truly long for the day when contemporary atheism will have some genuine challenges to Christian faith, because the dialogue is enriching and is actually good for those on both sides of the fence. It's so tiresome when both sides act like children and bring nothing new to the table.
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« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2011, 12:10:32 PM »

No offense to you Jackel, but it is very hard for me to take you seriously on Christianity when you still subscribe to the Christ-myth theory. No serious atheist worth their salt I have debated with even holds to the theory anymore. It truly is a dead thesis.

This is quite true. I'm surprised atheists still bring this up. At least it's entertaining though...

In all seriousness, though, I truly long for the day when contemporary atheism will have some genuine challenges to Christian faith, because the dialogue is enriching and is actually good for those on both sides of the fence. It's so tiresome when both sides act like children and bring nothing new to the table.

Christianity is the most heavily scrutinized religion of all time, and it still has withheld the scrutiny. It's simply remarkable. I honestly believe that we may come to an age where people won't have anything new to say against Christianity. I constantly engage in the old and tired arguments that have been succinctly answered by people hundreds of years ago. That's also a problem with atheism, it makes claims but can't back those up.

Here's my thing, addressing the OP as a non-believer...what do you have to lose in believing in God? You have nothing to lose and perhaps everything to gain.
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« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2011, 12:36:42 PM »

I honestly believe that we may come to an age where people won't have anything new to say against Christianity. I constantly engage in the old and tired arguments that have been succinctly answered by people hundreds of years ago. That's also a problem with atheism, it makes claims but can't back those up.


I think we've already come to that age. Discussing it with folks who trot out the same tired old arguments like we've (gasp!) never heard them before is a dead end. They never seem to come up with anything new.
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« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2011, 12:38:19 PM »

Here's my thing, addressing the OP as a non-believer...what do you have to lose in believing in God? You have nothing to lose and perhaps everything to gain.

Prepare for some snide remark about "Pascal's Wager" and how it's a logical fallacy. In all my dealings with atheists one common theme seems to be their refusal to approach "The God Question" in terms of a relationship rather than a puzzle or problem to be solved.

The thing, though, is that Orthodoxy has never presented her faith as an explanation of physical phenomena or as the results of philosophical musings. She has always offer Christ, as a Person, with Whom we can interact in and through the Church. It's entirely relational. And if one genuinely wants to experience God, all they need to do is have humility, come to the Church with an open mind and a willing attitude, and do what's necessary to have it happen.

That's another common problem, they have an attitude that God must meet them on their terms, and must meet all of their expectations and do everything they want Him to do. And, quite simply, God tends to refuse to bow down to our demands.
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« Reply #74 on: February 16, 2011, 12:49:25 PM »

I honestly believe that we may come to an age where people won't have anything new to say against Christianity. I constantly engage in the old and tired arguments that have been succinctly answered by people hundreds of years ago. That's also a problem with atheism, it makes claims but can't back those up.


I think we've already come to that age. Discussing it with folks who trot out the same tired old arguments like we've (gasp!) never heard them before is a dead end. They never seem to come up with anything new.
Right. It's like regurgitating acid reflux from refutations made years and years ago to bring it into today's old questions.  

Even my own unintellectual problem with theodicy, could so easily be expounded but I had to strip away my own pride to see it.


Prepare for some snide remark about "Pascal's Wager" and how it's a logical fallacy.
I have no problem with the Wager personally, I don't think one should live their life according to it...but it does offer up something to ponder on. I am amused that atheist's tend to be so constricted in tight moral values, what stops them from breaking out?


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In all my dealings with atheists one common theme seems to be their refusal to approach "The God Question" in terms of a relationship rather than a puzzle or problem to be solved.
Right. I ask you this. For those that attempted at having a relationship with God before but gave up and moved into atheism, what could bring them back to the fold?

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The thing, though, is that Orthodoxy has never presented her faith as an explanation of physical phenomena or as the results of philosophical musings. She has always offer Christ, as a Person, with Whom we can interact in and through the Church. It's entirely relational. And if one genuinely wants to experience God, all they need to do is have humility, come to the Church with an open mind and a willing attitude, and do what's necessary to have it happen.
Exactly.

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That's another common problem, they have an attitude that God must meet them on their terms, and must meet all of their expectations and do everything they want Him to do. And, quite simply, God tends to refuse to bow down to our demands.
Bingo, and that's also dangerous with many of these prosperity preachers. You set expectations on God to give you all these material things, but what happens when He doesn't deliver? Give up on God?

Finite man trying to control God on what He should do. Who's really pulling the strings now? LOL.
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« Reply #75 on: February 16, 2011, 05:00:40 PM »

You people do realize those are simplistic parallels and not literal word for word parallels. The point of those were not to show Plagiarism but to show that such beliefs already existed. It's to show the evolution of of religion, and how other cultures and religions inspire the writing of new ones such as Christianity. And none of you actually address the history of Judaism and it's polytheistic roots to which are well established in archeology, scripture and text.
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« Reply #76 on: February 16, 2011, 05:02:07 PM »

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Finite man trying to control God on what He should do. Who's really pulling the strings now? LOL.

GOD is infinite? Thanks for calling me GOD Smiley

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Prepare for some snide remark about "Pascal's Wager" and how it's a logical fallacy.

That's because it is a logical fallacy. And it's purpose was to subliminally manipulate the ignorant into indoctrination. It's the play on the fear tools commonly used in religious dogma. Otherwise their ideology wouldn't have anything to stand on.


In regards to theists claiming they have a relationship with GOD, it's more like a relationship with the conceptual idea of GOD. I get a lot of theists that try to claim to have that "special relationship".. And yet, they can't even give consistent answers to simple questions. I know my friends favorite color, and if I didn't I could simply ask and get a straight answer. Asking theist to tell me what their GOD's favorite color goes down the road of Carl Sagan Dragon, or the assertion of multiple colors, or even the argument of black and white. In fact, all they can do is try and post scripture as their special relationship. o.O  I love books too, but really?
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Back up your claim. A single video in the lines of "The God Who Wasn't There" isn't sufficient enough proof for me.

You might actually want to check his resources lol. They are well backed up, and you might just learn some actual history.

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHistory-God-000-Year-Judaism-Christianity%2Fdp%2F0345384563&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Well-sourced Wikipedia articles describing the evolution of Jewish monotheism from polytheism:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMonotheism%23Origin_and_development&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHistory_of_ancient_Israel_and_Judah%23Religion&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FYahweh%23Early_history_of_Yahweh-worship&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Enuma Elish:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FEn%25C3%25BBma_Eli%25C5%25A1&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Library of Ashurbanipal:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FLibrary_of_Ashurbanipal&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Canaanite Religion:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FCanaanite_religion&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Did Jewish Slaves Build the Pyramids?:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fskeptoid.com%2Fepisodes%2F4191&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Taanach Cult Stand:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FYahweh%23Development&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Israel Enters Recorded History in Egypt at 1200 BCE:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHistory_of_ancient_Israel_and_Judah%23Iron_Age_I&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Jeremiah's Monolatrist Polytheism:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FQueen_of_heaven_(Antiquity)%23Hebrew_Bible_references&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Exodus Renaming by P verified in The Bible with Sources Revealed:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSources-Revealed-Richard-Elliott-Friedman%2Fdp%2F0060530693&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D.

--

The Prince of Egypt:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPrince-Egypt-Val-Kilmer%2Fdp%2FB00000JGOQ&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Vector Attributions:
A huge thanks to Snap2Objects for the many businessmen vectors I use:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.snap2objects.com%2Ffreebies%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Iron Age Israel and Judah:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fsuper-girls%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Cloaked Israelite Women:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fsuper-girls%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Gods and Israelites of War:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Ffighting-people%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Tiamat:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-oriental-dragons%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Asherah and Baal:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fjumping-people%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Israelites:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fmiscsilhouettesofpeople%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Sun:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fgreeengirl.deviantart.com%2Fart%2Ffree-simbols-sun-81174695%3Fq%3Dboost%3Apopular%2Bin%3Aresources%2Fvector%2Bsun%2Bvector%26qo%3D9&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Clouds:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-clouds%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D.
Plants:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FFlowers%2F127-13-Free-Vector-Foliage-Ornaments-Pack-01&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babies:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fbrowse.deviantart.com%2Fresources%2F%3Fq%3Dbaby%23%2Fd1cnta1&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Ares:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fbrowse.deviantart.com%2Fresources%2Fvector%2F%3Fq%3Dares%23%2Fd2b8aai&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Deuteronomy Flourishes:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-flourishes%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Blood:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FSpills-Splatters%2F15375-Free-Splatter-Vector-Set&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Paint Splatters:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FSpills-Splatters%2F466-Vector-Splatters&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Image Attributions:
Badlands:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3A2003-08-15_Badlands_National_Park_small_buttes.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Heaven:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ASky_between_cloud_layers.jpeg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babylonian Tablet:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AVenus_Tablet_of_Ammisaduqa.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babylonian Exile:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FJewish_history%23Babylonian_captivity&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Baal Epic:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABaal_epic_mp3h8930.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABaal_epic_mp3h8950.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D


** "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)

** "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)

** "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 05:32:47 PM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: February 16, 2011, 05:23:54 PM »

In regards to theists claiming they have a relationship with GOD, it's more like a relationship with the conceptual idea of GOD. I get a lot of theists that try to claim to have that "special relationship".. And yet, they can't even give consistent answers to simple questions. I know my friends favorite color, and if I didn't I could simply ask and get a straight answer. Asking theist to tell me what their GOD's favorite color goes down the road of Carl Sagan Dragon, or the assertion of multiple colors, or even the argument of black and white. In fact, all they can do is try and post scripture as their special relationship. o.O  I love books too, but really?

What in the world are you blathering about?
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« Reply #78 on: February 16, 2011, 05:35:25 PM »

Quote
What in the world are you blathering about?

Was addressing a common argument by theists from a point being made above that reminded me of it. irrelevant anyways to the subject, so my apologies Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2011, 05:38:07 PM »

In regards to theists claiming they have a relationship with GOD, it's more like a relationship with the conceptual idea of GOD. I get a lot of theists that try to claim to have that "special relationship".. And yet, they can't even give consistent answers to simple questions. I know my friends favorite color, and if I didn't I could simply ask and get a straight answer. Asking theist to tell me what their GOD's favorite color goes down the road of Carl Sagan Dragon, or the assertion of multiple colors, or even the argument of black and white. In fact, all they can do is try and post scripture as their special relationship. o.O  I love books too, but really?

I can't tell, but I think maybe you are a little confused. You seem to be inadvertently painting us as sola scripturists, but Orthodox Christians are not. And what is this about God's favorite color? Are you some kind of a crazy person?


You people do realize those are simplistic parallels and not literal word for word parallels. The point of those were not to show Plagiarism but to show that such beliefs already existed. It's to show the evolution of of religion, and how other cultures and religions inspire the writing of new ones such as Christianity. And none of you actually address the history of Judaism and it's polytheistic roots to which are well established in archeology, scripture and text.

I don't think these matters bother anyone. Most Orthodox Christians would acknowledge that proto-Jews were henotheists, and I just listened to a podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko who seems to imply Cain and Abel were polytheists. Whether they were or not, it doesn't matter. We are not afraid of parallels with other religions. All peoples have reached out for the Holy Trinity.

That fact doesn't make Christianity false. It means that all those other religions are true, to some limited extent.
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« Reply #80 on: February 16, 2011, 05:54:22 PM »

Quote

I can't tell, but I think maybe you are a little confused. You seem to be inadvertently painting us as sola scripturists, but Orthodox Christians are not. And what is this about God's favorite color? Are you some kind of a crazy person?

No, the subject main point is the evolution of monotheism and religion. Christianity evolved from polytheism, anyone that knows the archeological record knows this, and anyone that actually knows that the current translations of the bible are nothing more than edited versions. I know Orthodox Christians are not sola Scripturists. It's not really relevant as is the history of the religion itself.


Quote
I don't think these matters bother anyone.

It's not supposed to, it was place to make a point. Whether it bothers you or not, I am addressing the OPS position.


Quote
That fact doesn't make Christianity false. It means that all those other religions are true, to some limited extent.

Actually it makes it no more true than any other religion or GOD to which you think is mythical. Knowing it's history is all I really require to know why monotheism is just an evolution of polytheism. And knowing that the monotheistic GOD of Christianity has it's roots well in bed as a SUN God. Christianity kind of took pieces and bits of other religions and then structured it into a monotheistic religion.


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« Reply #81 on: February 16, 2011, 06:08:56 PM »

Actually it makes it no more true than any other religion or GOD to which you think is mythical. Knowing it's history is all I really require to know why monotheism is just an evolution of polytheism. And knowing that the monotheistic GOD of Christianity has it's roots well in bed as a SUN God. Christianity kind of took pieces and bits of other religions and then structured it into a monotheistic religion.

I have never seen an atheist adequately prove that the Christian God has any similarity to other gods, except for the most superficial and insignificant attributes. For instance, I have heard atheists argue the Trinity comes from Hinduism, even though the Hindu "trinity" has no similarity to the Christian Trinity whatsoever.

And you will also have to prove the logical leap from superficial and insignificant similarities to Christianity taking bits from other religions and creating a monotheistic religion. Do you have any evidence at all for this? Some writings from the Apostles saying "Hey, Vishnu is kind of cool", perhaps?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 06:09:36 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #82 on: February 16, 2011, 06:20:06 PM »

Quote
Now why would I bother watching more "Jesus myth" propaganda when I have thoroughly destroyed your theory?

You didn't destroy any such theory lol.. And I didn't realize National Geographic was a source of propaganda against your religion (/rolls eyes).. Tells me you know little about the history of the evolution of your religion "/ Or even the common folklore and beliefs at the time to which give shape to the birth of Christianity. Even the Ark story is hardly original. Your position would require the total denial of the archeological record as well. Hence, we aren't calling Jesus (possible existing man) a myth.. It's the folklore that surrounds him, and the commonality of his story in that era. Jesus's story was pretty much nearly a dime a dozen in that era of self-proclaimed healers ect. Resurrection in the ancient history of religion was also is seen as the rising of the sun.

http://www.pyramidofman.com/Osiris-Djed.htm

And what of the Catholic "blessing of the new fire" on the evening before Easter Sunday, from which so many candles are lit? Is it not now obvious that its origin is not in the celebration of the risen Son of God, but rather idol worship and the pagan Babylonian god of fire, and sun-god, whose emblem is a flaming heart, and whose name is Baal or Tammuz? The "blessing of the new fire" is an adopted pagan practice that honors the new strength of the Sun as evidenced by the increasing daylight and lessening night after the Spring Equinox, and this has been plainly admitted by Catholics:

   6. The Easter Fire

    The Easter Fire is lit on the top of mountains (Easter mountain, Osterberg) and must be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction (nodfyr); this is a custom of pagan origin in vogue all over Europe, signifying the victory of spring over winter. The bishops issued severe edicts against the sacrilegious Easter fires (Conc. Germanicum, a. 742, c.v.; Council of Lestines, a. 743, n. 15), but did not succeed in abolishing them everywhere. The Church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies, referring it to the fiery column in the desert and to the Resurrection of Christ; the new fire on Holy Saturday is drawn from flint, symbolizing the Resurrection of the Light of the World from the tomb closed by a stone (Missale Rom.). In some places a figure was thrown into the Easter fire, symbolizing winter, but to the Christians on the Rhine, in Tyrol and Bohemia, Judas the traitor (Reinsberg-Düringfeld, Das festliche Jahr, 112 sq.).

* (Deuteronomy 9:3 NIV) But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.

* 27And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.

* Malachi intimates the appearance of the sun with the name of God. "Hosts" refers to the stars: 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

* for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:29)

* Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
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« Reply #83 on: February 16, 2011, 06:23:10 PM »

Seriously, dear Jackel, are you really laboring under the delusion that you are telling us astonishing things that we have never heard of before?

I can assure you that is not the case.

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« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2011, 06:33:56 PM »

Quote
I have never seen an atheist adequately prove that the Christian God has any similarity to other gods, except for the most superficial and insignificant attributes.

I've seen those attempted arguments, but none of them actually ever really addressed key points that make them untrue. Monotheism is well known to have derived from polytheism and other religions. It's still, even after so many translations and interpretations, is well rooted to it's polytheistic history. I don't sit here and discount the archeological history or tying parallels of past religions. The Story remains the same, especially Genesis's own rooted history in polytheism. Current Christianity is like what video games are today..An evolutionary product based in the roots of hit's history. It's like of FPS shooters will always have that DOOM and Wolfenstien roots to their own existence. You can of course try and deny this, but it won't make it go away.


Quote
For instance, I have heard atheists argue the Trinity comes from Hinduism, even though the Hindu "trinity" has no similarity to the Christian Trinity whatsoever.

Do you see me making arguments in regards to Trinity coming from Hinduism? Nope. No, I am making arguments based on the actual history and archeological record of Christianity.

Quote
And you will also have to prove the logical leap from superficial and insignificant similarities to Christianity taking bits from other religions and creating a monotheistic religion.


In correct. Your assumption that man or even the inspired writers of the Bible had no influence from other religions is nonsensical. It's common knowledge that they have, had, and will continue to do so.. Religion is largely rooted in the history of man in regards as a means to give representation to things they did not understand, or feared. Such things as the SUN and Moon, or natural phenomenon like Earth Quakes, floods, and Volcano's.
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« Reply #85 on: February 16, 2011, 06:35:16 PM »

Seriously, dear Jackel, are you really laboring under the delusion that you are telling us astonishing things that we have never heard of before?

I can assure you that is not the case.



That's great because the purpose is to address the OP more specifically than it is meant to be addressing your faith in your religion.
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« Reply #86 on: February 16, 2011, 08:14:05 PM »

Orthodoxy is perfectly aware of, and has no qualms whatsoever with, the fact that religion and philosophy and culture all evolved to the point where Christianity was ready to break on the scene. We're just not sure why that's relevant other than being an interesting topic to discuss. Monotheism derived from polytheism? Okay...so?
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« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2011, 08:38:42 PM »

Orthodoxy is perfectly aware of, and has no qualms whatsoever with, the fact that religion and philosophy and culture all evolved to the point where Christianity was ready to break on the scene. We're just not sure why that's relevant other than being an interesting topic to discuss. Monotheism derived from polytheism? Okay...so?

It has a lot to do with why I personally reject it.. You don't share that position, and that is fine. It's also based around the same reasons why I don't believe in any GOD's because I understand it's evolution in the human history. It is interesting though. But unfortunately that is just one of the many deal breakers for me in regards to faith in the GOD concept. "/.. Though I don't think it's wrong for anyone to continue believing, it's just come to that point of disagreement.
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« Reply #88 on: February 16, 2011, 09:16:56 PM »

Orthodoxy is perfectly aware of, and has no qualms whatsoever with, the fact that religion and philosophy and culture all evolved to the point where Christianity was ready to break on the scene. We're just not sure why that's relevant other than being an interesting topic to discuss. Monotheism derived from polytheism? Okay...so?

It has a lot to do with why I personally reject it.. You don't share that position, and that is fine. It's also based around the same reasons why I don't believe in any GOD's because I understand it's evolution in the human history. It is interesting though. But unfortunately that is just one of the many deal breakers for me in regards to faith in the GOD concept. "/.. Though I don't think it's wrong for anyone to continue believing, it's just come to that point of disagreement.

Honestly, I can understand that impulse, but I don't really see how it's merited. It reminds me of Daniel Dennett's interesting, but ultimately unconvincing and rather pointless book Breaking the Spell wherein he seems to think that by explaining how religion arose naturally one has grounds to dismiss it altogether. It leaves one scratching one's head. His whole argument is really nothing more than misapplying over and over quantitative terms to unquantifiable terms and a series of indirect inferences drawn from behaviors that could be interpreted in a million different ways. Um, of course religion is a naturally occurring phenomenon, do people think it isn't? And do people really think it follows that because this is true it is impossible for it to be the vehicle of divine truth?
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« Reply #89 on: February 16, 2011, 10:20:01 PM »

You people do realize those are simplistic parallels and not literal word for word parallels.
Barely 2% of your "parallels" hold any merit. The rest are false.

Quote
The point of those were not to show Plagiarism but to show that such beliefs already existed.
No. There were no such beliefs that existed before Christ and as I said only 2% come sort of close, but not close enough.

Quote
It's to show the evolution of of religion, and how other cultures and religions inspire the writing of new ones such as Christianity.
Wrong.

Quote
And none of you actually address the history of Judaism and it's polytheistic roots to which are well established in archeology, scripture and text.
I'll get to your writeup here in a second, but nothing of Orthodoxy hinges on the polytheistic roots of Judaism. Let me make this clear. Nothing. In. Orthodoxy. Hinges. On. The. Polytheistic. Roots. Of. Judaism.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 10:20:16 PM by Aposphet » Logged

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« Reply #90 on: February 16, 2011, 10:27:27 PM »

As I criticized TTC, you copy from a website, but what merit do you have to even trust that website?  Do you really put your faith on what others write online, or do you do the research yourself and investigate it yourself?  Are you a master of Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Hindu/Buddhist history, etc?

Your argument is based on "evolution of religion."  So what?  What exactly is the argument in that?  When mammals evolved into the human species, does that make humanity any less real?  (I suppose you can imagine how incredibly amazing it is our existence must be, but I'm not sure if that's the context you're thinking...but in that sense, ya, Christianity is truly incredibly amazing Wink)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 10:29:57 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: February 16, 2011, 10:35:07 PM »

It's because i understand the abstract nature of consciousness and mental processes. It's no different that the evolution of Atheism, or even Agnostism. Most of the meaning we derive our thoughts on are through the development of language to which can lead to abstract perception of the things we sense and observe to which includes ourselves. Its the natural physical flow of energy/information and the evolution of it. The relevance of our ideas and beliefs greatly depend on the real world. So things like the SUN, Earthquakes ect can spark the evolution of the GOD concept. Fear is usually a key trigger to such ideological philosophies.

Example:


If I could take an Apache Helicopter, demonstrate it's power, and then Land it in the middle of that era, or even Jerusalem, It would be very likely to have made Jesus rather insignificant. You might have ended up worshiping the Apache, or if I was in a group, multiple Apaches.

So yes, there is some truth in religion, as in how it develops and how it interprets identical information in abstract. It's just like 2 people can view a red truck in different perspectives even though the information is identical. One could derive it as GOD like, another as a threat, another as awesome, another as ugly, or another as to manly or sexist. Why? because we have all this other information stored in our head that includes language, and our experiences since we were born to which shapes how our minds perceive reality even though it doesn't actually change the reality of reality.  This is the fundamentals of development of morals, ethics, and opinions. Usually, such things are manipulable through emotion, and fear because that is the nature of consciousness. It's the positive, negative, and neutral feedback of the continuous flow of information through our senses, and the environment. It's the same process that governs evolution, adaptation, natural selection, choices, decisions or any phenomenon to which can exist, or does exist. It's energy processing energy because energy can interfere with itself to give rise to complex. It's an energy driven ecological system to which is a chaotic system with simple principles that govern it.  

This however doesn't mean there isn't the possibility of consciousness in pure energy form to where the biological brain isn't required. So I don't rule out higher beings, or even the plausibility of more powerful entities than ourselves. I just realize that none of them can create that which we all require to exist. And that is informational value and substance.. So my view strayed from common religious ideologies through my own exploring of information theory.

But yes, it's possible that some entity could have caused the big bang either by mistake or by pure intention.. It's simply not really relevant from my perspective. We could even go down the Men In Black aspect of infinite progression of realities (worlds within worlds). I can even give an example of plausible transcendence of reality without defying material-physicality:

Quote
THE MUTE ARGUMENT:

A child is born from our perspective to be unable to feel, see, hear, or smell to where this would result In the fact that this child would be completely unable to respond to any outside source of stimuli, or unable to sense and observe it. This child would be in a solipsistic state of mind to where this child's universe could never consciously perceive that of our own universe even though this child is equally apart of it.(this fits into the concept of religion where death transcends to another reality). This in a sense is an example of Occam's Razor, and a Sollipsist reality.. This child would not know that itself is a living biological being born from the whom of his mother. And it gets better, we being the outside observers could never peer into this child's mind, or this child's universe to understand what kind of reality this child is experiencing.  We could never currently establish if this child is even consciously self-aware, or has imagined a whole different universe of existence. Thus can a world be created within the mind based off what little information the locked in mind may have gathered during it's development in the whom?

So what happens if this child wakes up and discovers that itself is apart of another universe much grander than the one he was locked into? And what does that say about our own universe?.. Are we our selves locked in? Is there an ever progression of reality? So if we die and wake up in another universe, what kind of understanding would we have of reality or of existence? Or even what kind of understanding would we have of that state of existence?. So if this child wakes up and tells us, or explains to us what his reality was like, He nor we could ever really know if we are in a similar Lock-in, or explain our entire existence and the universe. This also applies to any conscious entity simply because omniscience is impossible.

However, what we do know is that no matter what the case may be, the mind will always require containment, a place to exist, dimensional value, information and material physicality.



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« Reply #92 on: February 16, 2011, 11:22:01 PM »

GOD is infinite? Thanks for calling me GOD Smiley
You are not infinite. I was playing on what Sleeper had said regarding those that would like to control God so He could do whatever that person wants Him to do.

Quote
That's because it is a logical fallacy. And it's purpose was to subliminally manipulate the ignorant into indoctrination. It's the play on the fear tools commonly used in religious dogma. Otherwise their ideology wouldn't have anything to stand on.
If Pascal's Wager was used as a manipulation ideology it still does not make it a logical fallacy. But you have made it into a fallacy by presupposing Pascal intended the wager as a manipulation tactic. You have to do two things before understanding the Wager. 1) Read Pensées 2) Understand the background of why it was created. Pascal lived in a time of great scepticism. During the time of Pascal people were skeptical and had a hard time using faith and reason alone to believe in God. Here's what's interesting about the Wager, it introduced a third concept by placing God only on a bet. As I previously alluded to, this isn't something to live by and isn't really a deep faith in God, however the intention was to hold up atheism not to mind control people into believing in God.

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You might actually want to check his resources lol. They are well backed up, and you might just learn some actual history.
Oh really? Let's see what you have linked:

Quote
I have read the book myself, it seems to make out that the formation of religion is a man-made thing, whether or not you agree with that is your own choice, although I feel this is the overall agenda of the book, if it has an agenda at all. Armstrong seems to skim over the details at times making religious practice seem as if it just cropped up all of sudden. The thing is, is that if she wanted to do a more comprehensive study you would find the book would be a large as a VCR.

[quote[Well-sourced Wikipedia articles describing the evolution of Jewish monotheism from polytheism:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMonotheism%23Origin_and_development&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D[/quote]
Nowhere in this article does it "describe" Jewish monotheism from polytheism. It actually further supports a foundation on monotheism: "The Hebrew Bible describes the God of Israel as superior to other gods, commanding the Israelites not to worship other gods, but only the God who brought them out of Egypt (Ex. 20:1-4; Deut. 5:6-7). Through the experience of Babylonian captivity, the Deuteronomists developed the monotheistic concept, and it is revealed in Second Isaiah. The concept of monotheism is expressed in Isaiah 44:06, "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god" and it's developed in Isaiah 44:09-20, a satire on the making and worship of idols. In it the foolishness of idolaters is elaborated, such as the carpenter who carves an idol and worships it."

I'll get to the documentary hypothesis in a moment.

Quote
"Israelite monotheism was the end result of a gradual process which began with the normal beliefs and practices of the ancient world." I don't see how that is a problem and in regards to Judaism, because Jews originated from the Israelites.

How is that bottom pieced well sourced? It all comes from one book and by one editor on the section, John Rogerson. It's interesting however I would need to see a few various other sources to come to a conclusion.

Quote
This link doesn't work. What's with the youtube links anyway?

Quote
So similarities to other traditions at the time? You don't say!  Roll Eyes

Quote
"Due to the sloppy handling of the original material much of the library is irreparably jumbled, making it impossible for scholars to discern and reconstruct many of the original texts, although some have survived intact."
Oh and we are quite well aware of similarities to the Epic of Gilgamesh. What's fascinating are not the similarities but the differences between the two. Genesis is a book of various traditions in light of the one God, however for us it is a spiritual book and prefigures events in the New Testament.

Quote
I don't know what you are trying to cite here, but I scrolled down to "Parallels with the Hebrew Bible" and I loled at the usage of the Masoretic text


Quote
I got tired of trying to pinpoint what it is you specifically want me to look at. Just throwing me wikipedia articles and books from amazon.com is detremintal to your argument, because you need to extract the information for me to bother with the issues.


Quote
--

The Prince of Egypt:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPrince-Egypt-Val-Kilmer%2Fdp%2FB00000JGOQ&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Vector Attributions:
A huge thanks to Snap2Objects for the many businessmen vectors I use:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.snap2objects.com%2Ffreebies%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Iron Age Israel and Judah:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fsuper-girls%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Cloaked Israelite Women:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fsuper-girls%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Gods and Israelites of War:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Ffighting-people%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Tiamat:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-oriental-dragons%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Asherah and Baal:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fjumping-people%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Israelites:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fmiscsilhouettesofpeople%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Sun:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fgreeengirl.deviantart.com%2Fart%2Ffree-simbols-sun-81174695%3Fq%3Dboost%3Apopular%2Bin%3Aresources%2Fvector%2Bsun%2Bvector%26qo%3D9&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Clouds:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-clouds%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D.
Plants:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FFlowers%2F127-13-Free-Vector-Foliage-Ornaments-Pack-01&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babies:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fbrowse.deviantart.com%2Fresources%2F%3Fq%3Dbaby%23%2Fd1cnta1&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Ares:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fbrowse.deviantart.com%2Fresources%2Fvector%2F%3Fq%3Dares%23%2Fd2b8aai&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Deuteronomy Flourishes:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fall-silhouettes.com%2Fvector-flourishes%2F&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Blood:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FSpills-Splatters%2F15375-Free-Splatter-Vector-Set&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Paint Splatters:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vecteezy.com%2FSpills-Splatters%2F466-Vector-Splatters&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D

Image Attributions:
Badlands:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3A2003-08-15_Badlands_National_Park_small_buttes.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Heaven:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ASky_between_cloud_layers.jpeg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babylonian Tablet:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AVenus_Tablet_of_Ammisaduqa.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Babylonian Exile:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FJewish_history%23Babylonian_captivity&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
Baal Epic:
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABaal_epic_mp3h8930.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D
http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABaal_epic_mp3h8950.jpg&session_token=8IEKUYxgMRi-d3lhrXnbkr2bK1d8MTI5Nzk3NzI5Mw%3D%3D


** "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)

** "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)

** "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)


Good grief why the rest of those links? Are you trolling now?
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« Reply #93 on: February 16, 2011, 11:24:54 PM »

Oh and on the Documentary Hypothesis, which has been debunked by R.N. Whybray

1) DH “relies on a complexity of converging arguments” (the old ‘house of cards’ argument)

2) DH cannot account for all the material in the Pentateuch.  Even Wellhausen had to admit the law codes did not fit tidily, and the distinction between the so called earliest sources J and E is often blurred.

3) DH is “dependent on a particular view of the history of the religion of Israel,” an evolutionary view, that is no longer persuasive to many.

4) Authors are required to be consistent, but this same criterion is not applied to redactors (this is one of the strongest arguments in my view).  Such a view requiring consistency also fails to take into account the possibility of deliberate use of these features for aesthetic or literary purposes.

5) Doublets, repetitions, inconsistencies may already have existed in the oral stage of transmission.

6) Breaking up these narratives (“scissors and paste method”) lacks ancient literary analgoies, and destroys literary/aesthetic qualities of the narratives that should not be ignored.

7) DH places an over-emphasis on differences of language and style, especially in light of our ignorance of the history of the Hebrew language.

8 ) “Constants” required throughout each document (i.e., single style, purpose, theology) and an unbroken narrative thread do not exist in any document.

9) Pre-exilic authors appear to konw nothing of ancestral and Mosaic traditions, raising doubt about an early (United Monarchy) date for J or E.

10) Countless attempts to modify the hypothesis are only indicators of its breakdown.

11) Supplementary and fragmentary hypothesis have been neglected and need to be reassessed.

From R.N. Whybray’s The Making of the Pentateuch, (1987) is alternative proposal was that the Pentateuch was essentially the work of a single author who drew upon multiple sources and disregarded, or was ignorant of, modern notions of literary consistency and smoothness of style and language.
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« Reply #94 on: February 16, 2011, 11:38:06 PM »

Nevermind, I saw the comments on the bottom of the link.
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2011, 12:26:50 AM »

Quote
If Pascal's Wager was used as a manipulation ideology it still does not make it a logical fallacy.

Actually it does.. The wager is the assumption of two theoretical options when there are an untold number of theoretical options. The wager is similar to a carrot and stick to where they think it's a 50/50 wager when it's ridiculous to begin with. I can infinitely make that wager in any reality I find myself to be in. That includes A GOD of your GOD's GOD.. Ect.
Quote
But you have made it into a fallacy by presupposing Pascal intended the wager as a manipulation tactic.


Incorrect, it's commonly used by theists as a manipulating tactic.. Context is important there.


Quote

I have read the book myself, it seems to make out that the formation of religion is a man-made thing, whether or not you agree with that is your own choice, although I feel this is the overall agenda of the book, if it has an agenda at all. Armstrong seems to skim over the details at times making religious practice seem as if it just cropped up all of sudden. The thing is, is that if she wanted to do a more comprehensive study you would find the book would be a large as a VCR.

No, it's more of seen as summarizing the process than assuming it magically cropped up. Regardless, it's definitely man made.

Quote
Nowhere in this article does it "describe" Jewish monotheism from polytheism. It actually further supports a foundation on monotheism: "The Hebrew Bible describes the God of Israel as superior to other gods, commanding the Israelites not to worship other gods, but only the God who brought them out of Egypt (Ex. 20:1-4; Deut. 5:6-7). Through the experience of Babylonian captivity, the Deuteronomists developed the monotheistic concept, and it is revealed in Second Isaiah. The concept of monotheism is expressed in Isaiah 44:06, "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god" and it's developed in Isaiah 44:09-20, a satire on the making and worship of idols. In it the foolishness of idolaters is elaborated, such as the carpenter who carves an idol and worships it."

This is more or less where you clearly miss edit parts of the bible that contradict monotheism. Care to post those here for us? Monotheism didn't come more predominate in the bible until later into the bible. Also the known editing of the creation of man in multiple god images vs one god's image. The arguments you make is about a GOD trying to assert itself as the only GOD. Almost like a ruler trying to assert itself as king of the hill.

http://www.heavingdeadcats.com/2009/05/27/how-many-gods-are-in-the-bible/


Isrealites did not seem to strictly be monotheists.. They seemed to only actively worshiped one god while believing in other GOD's. eventually the One GOD became GOD of all GOD's or the monotheism it is today. You can feel free to post even the conflicting creation story of man's creation from more than one GOD vs just one GOD here for us.

http://urantiabook.org/newbook/papers/p096.htm

This does a better job covering your argument..
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7110&printer_friendly=1



** "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)

** "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)

** "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)

You have contradictions in the bible you need to deal with.

Quote
Good grief why the rest of those links? Are you trolling now?

no I just copied and pasted all the links attached to the video.. Hardly an attempt at trolling.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 12:27:58 AM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2011, 02:15:07 AM »

The issues of early OT polytheism turned monotheism lacks sufficient evidence.  It's mere speculation driven by supposed textual discrepancies.  Christians have recognized textual discrepancies before anyone can even used them as a nail against them, but never were those textual discrepancies involved a "hidden polytheism" trying to be erased from history.  On the contrary, while these terms for the one God may have been recognized as terms for the pagan gods around them, it wasn't a belief of paganism that the Hebrew author was portraying, but a refutation of paganism by the use of these different names for the same God, as a way of destroying the notion that a multiplicity of gods exist.

Perhaps if one find manuscripts for this, then the speculation may become sound theory.  But I find it odd you place your faith on this to strongly validate your disbelief when you like to criticize theists for doing the same concerning theism, accusing us of holding value to mere ideas in our heads.  What makes your speculation no different?

And Pascal's wager is certainly not accepted by all Christians.  In fact, a lot of Christians reject that idea, as it cheapens the goal of a Christian.  It's useless to have God as a mere idea and not practice it.  God as a mere idea is precisely and only Pascal's wager, not the Christian ideal.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 02:16:25 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2011, 02:31:47 AM »

My thoughts exactly Mina, thank you.

Actually it does.. The wager is the assumption of two theoretical options when there are an untold number of theoretical options. The wager is similar to a carrot and stick to where they think it's a 50/50 wager when it's ridiculous to begin with. I can infinitely make that wager in any reality I find myself to be in. That includes A GOD of your GOD's GOD.. Ect.
Your original assertion was that the Wager was a logical fallacy because it could be used as a manipulation device. That is not a logical fallacy. The Wager presupposes two theoretical options, correctly might I add, in the belief in God and its outcome and the disbelief in God and its outcome. As I said twice already, this isn't to say "You must believe in God" but rather at the time of writing it, Pascal was facing critics to give them something to think about.

In essence he's basically saying "Can you be so sure there is no God?"

Quote
Incorrect, it's commonly used by theists as a manipulating tactic.. Context is important there.
Again I said what Pascal intended it to be used as, not what theists use it for. Anybody can read something and misinterpret its usage and not use it for what it really means. It's like the case when Jesus said if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off.


Quote
No, it's more of seen as summarizing the process than assuming it magically cropped up. Regardless, it's definitely man made.
You are saying the Bible is man made? You mean actually written by humans? I hate to break this to you but.....DUH!

Quote
This is more or less where you clearly miss edit parts of the bible that contradict monotheism. Care to post those here for us? Monotheism didn't come more predominate in the bible until later into the bible. Also the known editing of the creation of man in multiple god images vs one god's image. The arguments you make is about a GOD trying to assert itself as the only GOD. Almost like a ruler trying to assert itself as king of the hill.

http://www.heavingdeadcats.com/2009/05/27/how-many-gods-are-in-the-bible/


Isrealites did not seem to strictly be monotheists.. They seemed to only actively worshiped one god while believing in other GOD's. eventually the One GOD became GOD of all GOD's or the monotheism it is today. You can feel free to post even the conflicting creation story of man's creation from more than one GOD vs just one GOD here for us.

Read mina's post above this one. You keep pointing to Israelites when what is important is the perspective of Judaism which worships the One God, and the Jews were God's chosen people.

Quote
Again so what?


Quote
** "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them." (Exodus 18:11)

** "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)

** "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:5)

You have contradictions in the bible you need to deal with.
I've addressed them above, I was waiting for you to respond to them.

Quote
no I just copied and pasted all the links attached to the video.. Hardly an attempt at trolling.
Was it necessary to have the majority of those links though that point to vector art? No.

I'm going to say if we are going to continue this debate, instead of flinging out links actually quote from the links in support of your argument.
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« Reply #98 on: February 17, 2011, 02:40:00 AM »


Quote
The issues of early OT polytheism turned monotheism lacks sufficient evidence.  

I personally think there is sufficient evidence..It's just not a very well investigated subject. Or at least not very well documented. And we can't really rely on modern translations when they have been so overly edited. That is another problem. But I agree that the entire picture isn't cut and dry, or perfectly clear on the subject.


Quote
It's mere speculation driven by supposed textual discrepancies.
 

That is called a valid argument. Especially if you apply the scientific method. Textual discrepancies a key clues into something than needs further investigation. And that is why I have a big problem with biblical contradictions because I was always a biblical literalist.



Quote
Christians have recognized textual discrepancies before anyone can even used them as a nail against them,

If you found such things in a math quiz, or in science it would be evaluated, scrutinized, and investigated to actually account for and completely understand those discrepancies. Sweeping them under the rug just makes it worse.

Quote
but never were those textual discrepancies involved a "hidden polytheism" trying to be erased from history.

The problem is, the context of discrepancies point to exactly that, and we don't ignore the regions history with polytheism. Nor do we assume these people had zero knowledge of polytheism or other past religious polytheist views. When I read the modern bible I see it as one GOD asserting itself over all others..


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 On the contrary, while these terms for the one God may have been recognized as terms for the pagan gods around them, it wasn't a belief of paganism that the Hebrew author was portraying, but a refutation of paganism by the use of these different names for the same God, as a way of destroying the notion that a multiplicity of gods exist.

Or the taking over of those GOD's to incorporate them into one GOD. Which seems like some of the evidence suggests. But again, it does need further investigation.

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Perhaps if one find manuscripts for this, then the speculation may become sound theory.  But I find it odd you place your faith on this to strongly validate your disbelief when you like to criticize theists for doing the same concerning theism, accusing us of holding value to mere ideas in our heads.  What makes your speculation no different?

This is only part of the reason.. There is much more to why I waded away from the ideology of GOD's.

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And Pascal's wager is certainly not accepted by all Christians.  In fact, a lot of Christians reject that idea, as it cheapens the goal of a Christian.  It's useless to have God as a mere idea and not practice it.  God as a mere idea is precisely and only Pascal's wager, not the Christian ideal.

I agree, I didn't find it acceptable when I was a Christian either. I always thought it was nonsensical. And when I see people use it, it's intention is usually for purpose of manipulation.
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« Reply #99 on: February 17, 2011, 03:04:43 AM »

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That is called a valid argument. Especially if you apply the scientific method. Textual discrepancies a key clues into something than needs further investigation. And that is why I have a big problem with biblical contradictions because I was always a biblical literalist.

And here lies the problem that many here have debated against TTC with, the fact that you use Protestant Bibliolatry as a measure to criticize Orthodox Christian exegesis.  It's simply incorrect.  I see you've entered the evolution debate, and you might find my arguments familiar and agreeable, and others confusing as I am tailoring to answer a certain Orthodox Christian perspective in the debate to appeal to the understanding of evolutionary science.  I argue for an ancient Alexandrian exegetical method to understand real truth, and the possibility of allowing historical and scientific errors in the Scriptures for the the simple reason that the Scriptures convey primarily spiritual truth.  The measuring stick thus becomes different, and my foundation on belief is different than the literalists, and I even argued that literalists are usually the ones who become atheists.  I have argued time and again, and I challenge many who lost their belief, if you were raised a Christian allegorist, don't you think you'd turn out differently?

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If you found such things in a math quiz, or in science it would be evaluated, scrutinized, and investigated to actually account for and completely understand those discrepancies. Sweeping them under the rug just makes it worse.

I never suggested these discrepancies were swept under the rug.  The discrepancies I'm describing are the superficial things, like historical and scientific claims, and inner contradictions in the Scriptures.  I'm saying Christians have an ancient tradition of actually addressing these discrepancies (hardly sounds like sweeping them under the rug) in a much different fashion usually than contemporary Protestantism.

Quote
The problem is, the context of discrepancies point to exactly that, and we don't ignore the regions history with polytheism. Nor do we assume these people had zero knowledge of polytheism or other past religious polytheist views. When I read the modern bible I see it as one GOD asserting itself over all others..

These views (hidden Hebrew Polytheism) are new.  Never where they considered even by the ancient commentators like Philo, or even the Essene writings (which actually proves the integrity the the OT Scriptures, at least as far back as their time).  But I think you and I agree there needs to be more investigation.  The onus of proof, I believe, is on those who make these claims.  However, I will say, the different names are indeed recognized by the Christian community, but the interpretation is different.  Modern theologians call these stories and names of God in the Torah as "demythologizing" the community around them.
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« Reply #100 on: February 17, 2011, 03:08:53 AM »

Mina, I'd hate to interject on your conversation but I am primarily interested in the Alexandrian view of allegorizing the whole OT in the light of Christ. You have any documents, articles, etc that you could point me to? Much thanks.
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« Reply #101 on: February 17, 2011, 03:15:30 AM »

Mina, I'd hate to interject on your conversation but I am primarily interested in the Alexandrian view of allegorizing the whole OT in the light of Christ. You have any documents, articles, etc that you could point me to? Much thanks.

I've often used this as my best reference, an anthology of some of Origen's works by Sts. Basil and Gregory Nazienzen:
http://tertullian.org/fathers/origen_philocalia_02_text.htm

For Russian Orthodox references, you have the late Bishop Alexander Mileant, who does try to take a quasi-literalist view that actually tries to validate evolution, while arguing that Church fathers may make mistakes.

In any case, I've argued this repeated in the Evolution thread.
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« Reply #102 on: February 17, 2011, 03:31:58 AM »

Two other sites from the Holy Trinity Online School of Theology:

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/orthodox_view_scriptures.htm#_Toc56906076
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/theology_bible_florovsky_e.htm#_Toc102707060
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« Reply #103 on: February 17, 2011, 03:43:06 AM »

Excellent resources Mina, I appreciate them very much. I'll begin reading them tomorrow.
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« Reply #104 on: February 17, 2011, 03:53:56 AM »

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And here lies the problem that many here have debated against TTC with, the fact that you use Protestant Bibliolatry as a measure to criticize Orthodox Christian exegesis.  It's simply incorrect.  I see you've entered the evolution debate, and you might find my arguments familiar and agreeable, and others confusing as I am tailoring to answer a certain Orthodox Christian perspective in the debate to appeal to the understanding of evolutionary science.  I argue for an ancient Alexandrian exegetical method to understand real truth, and the possibility of allowing historical and scientific errors in the Scriptures for the the simple reason that the Scriptures convey primarily spiritual truth.  The measuring stick thus becomes different, and my foundation on belief is different than the literalists, and I even argued that literalists are usually the ones who become atheists.  I have argued time and again, and I challenge many who lost their belief, if you were raised a Christian allegorist, don't you think you'd turn out differently?

Actually biblical literalists are often the one's that don't become Atheists. And real truth is never true without actually validating it. Assumptions can but rarely lead to truth. Spiritual truth is what you seek in the philosophy of your belief, but even then without validation actual truth is never verified, or substantiated. Errors in the Bible point to inability to establish truth. It's pretty much a mess. But even Atheists use the biblical stories to teach their kids lessons in life while ignoring those that contradict those lessons (such as genocide of every living thing on earth).. It's a matter of what truth of philosophy you want to gain from it or see in it.

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I never suggested these discrepancies were swept under the rug.  The discrepancies I'm describing are the superficial things, like historical and scientific claims, and inner contradictions in the Scriptures.

Those aren't superficial.. Especially when one of the major contradictions (especially in the New Testament) is Unconditional Love while in the bible GOD himself commits Genocide or hypocrisy of the 10 commandments. The Island of Dr Monroe is very good depiction of what's both wrong with science and religion. I don't find spiritual truth in death, murder, genocide, or even the invention of a food chain that rips each-other apart for food to at all be appealing. It's not just based on the historical claims, or scientific discrepancies.. The spiritual contradictions of the bible are equally apart of the problem for me. I would not worship something that has even considered genocide as an option.

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I'm saying Christians have an ancient tradition of actually addressing these discrepancies (hardly sounds like sweeping them under the rug) in a much different fashion usually than contemporary Protestantism.

They do, because it spiritually you have to deal with them as stated above.


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These views (hidden Hebrew Polytheism) are new.  Never where they considered even by the ancient commentators like Philo, or even the Essene writings (which actually proves the integrity the the OT Scriptures, at least as far back as their time).  But I think you and I agree there needs to be more investigation.  The onus of proof, I believe, is on those who make these claims.  However, I will say, the different names are indeed recognized by the Christian community, but the interpretation is different.  Modern theologians call these stories and names of God in the Torah as "demythologizing" the community around them.

Yes I agree, a  much deeper investigation would be required to accurately address that.
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« Reply #105 on: February 17, 2011, 11:12:28 AM »

But you do realize that under the textual criticism of the hidden polytheism theory, the stories of genocide is considered to most probably never happened simply to put the fear of God in people?

In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).

Either way, whether the polytheism theory or the theological understanding, such stories also are not seen as literal stories, neither are they literally advocated.

Your literalism seems to have had an effect on your eventual atheism, no?  Many people I've talked to who grew up in a Christian literalist environment ended up becoming atheist simply for opening their minds to the sciences and testing them out, probably at first to try to prove the sciences wrong.  A sincere theistic foundation and a prayer life built not on the foundation of false and childish interpretation of the Scriptures is a much stronger one against the pitfalls of disbelief.
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« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2011, 01:58:39 PM »

I love it when atheists think they're biblical scholars.  "You know what the Bible really teaches, don't you? Trust me, it doesn't teach what you think it does! I don't care what your scholars or teachers say it means, if I can read it and see it for myself, that's what it really teaches."

Reminds me of this funny video: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8262143/
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« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2011, 02:02:57 PM »

I've seen those attempted arguments, but none of them actually ever really addressed key points that make them untrue. Monotheism is well known to have derived from polytheism and other religions. It's still, even after so many translations and interpretations, is well rooted to it's polytheistic history. I don't sit here and discount the archeological history or tying parallels of past religions. The Story remains the same, especially Genesis's own rooted history in polytheism. Current Christianity is like what video games are today..An evolutionary product based in the roots of hit's history. It's like of FPS shooters will always have that DOOM and Wolfenstien roots to their own existence. You can of course try and deny this, but it won't make it go away.


I offer you a big fat "so what?". None of this matter one way or another to Catholics and Orthodox Christians. We have no problem with the idea that monotheism evolved from polytheism. Why would that damage our faith in God? You must have been a fundamentalist protestant prior to your fall to atheism, because it appears that, like most athiest, you are attacking fundamentalist protestantism.
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« Reply #108 on: February 17, 2011, 02:20:56 PM »

I love it when atheists think they're biblical scholars.  "You know what the Bible really teaches, don't you? Trust me, it doesn't teach what you think it does! I don't care what your scholars or teachers say it means, if I can read it and see it for myself, that's what it really teaches."

Reminds me of this funny video: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8262143/

LOL!  I like the fact that they're both professionally and fully dressed and sitting in a dry room.

I've always wondered about the infinite universes.  Somehow they can conceive that as a possibility, but when it comes to God, infinity is a realm of nothingness or it describes themselves Huh...this is a new argument to me
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« Reply #109 on: February 17, 2011, 02:24:59 PM »

I love it when atheists think they're biblical scholars.  "You know what the Bible really teaches, don't you? Trust me, it doesn't teach what you think it does! I don't care what your scholars or teachers say it means, if I can read it and see it for myself, that's what it really teaches."

Reminds me of this funny video: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8262143/

I'm in tears, ROFL!  Cheesy
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« Reply #110 on: February 17, 2011, 03:09:14 PM »


Example:[/b]

If I could take an Apache Helicopter, demonstrate it's power, and then Land it in the middle of that era, or even Jerusalem, It would be very likely to have made Jesus rather insignificant. You might have ended up worshiping the Apache, or if I was in a group, multiple Apaches.

So yes, there is some truth in religion, as in how it develops and how it interprets identical information in abstract. It's just like 2 people can view a red truck in different perspectives even though the information is identical. One could derive it as GOD like, another as a threat, another as awesome, another as ugly, or another as to manly or sexist. Why? because we have all this other information stored in our head that includes language, and our experiences since we were born to which shapes how our minds perceive reality even though it doesn't actually change the reality of reality.  This is the fundamentals of development of morals, ethics, and opinions. Usually, such things are manipulable through emotion, and fear because that is the nature of consciousness. It's the positive, negative, and neutral feedback of the continuous flow of information through our senses, and the environment. It's the same process that governs evolution, adaptation, natural selection, choices, decisions or any phenomenon to which can exist, or does exist. It's energy processing energy because energy can interfere with itself to give rise to complex. It's an energy driven ecological system to which is a chaotic system with simple principles that govern it.  

This however doesn't mean there isn't the possibility of consciousness in pure energy form to where the biological brain isn't required. So I don't rule out higher beings, or even the plausibility of more powerful entities than ourselves. I just realize that none of them can create that which we all require to exist. And that is informational value and substance.. So my view strayed from common religious ideologies through my own exploring of information theory.

This is where you are wrong. Even thought different people read the same happenings and information differently that doesn't take anything away from it's truth in substance and non changeability. substance on it's own doesn't need to evolve in this case. What's evolving is our perception and our understanding of it. Our mind can be shaped and formed to see the substance for what it really is. Without the substance changing to conform to what we see. Just because we can't see it as such doesn't mean that it's changing, rather it is us who need to learn and see it for what it truly is. A red truck is a red truck after all.
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« Reply #111 on: February 18, 2011, 04:12:10 AM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.
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« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2011, 08:13:36 AM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

Is that so? Where in the Bible does it say it all must be taken literally or not literally?
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« Reply #113 on: February 18, 2011, 09:03:10 AM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

Do you have any Patristics to show that I'm disingenuous?  Because I sent a link by Origen to prove my point.  There was also Philo of Alexandria who took the same course, written before he knew anything about Christ.

Your literalist past is disingenuous to Christian tradition.  And you're full of it for trying to tell an Orthodox how to interpret their own Scriptures.
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« Reply #114 on: February 18, 2011, 09:22:43 AM »

I think he was given interpretation by Joel Osteen
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« Reply #115 on: February 18, 2011, 11:05:57 AM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny.

Well, the Scriptures of the Holy Bible have always belonged to the community that produced them, along with a consistent tradition of how to interpret it. There is no choosing on our end, just obedience to what has been passed down to us from the very people that produced it.

Quote
Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills.

As much as I loathe genocide, and with all due respect, but Israel is still here today while many of those other cultures are not. I'd say in a hostile age where the chosen people of God were a small, nomadic tribe not very capable of defeating enemies by themselves, this was "good" leadership.

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And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

Good grief. It's hard to take you seriously sometimes.
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« Reply #116 on: February 18, 2011, 01:20:10 PM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

What occurred in the Old Testament wasn't genocide or the advocacy of genocide. If you take the stories literally - which you shouldn't because their written in an Ancient Near East war narrative, meaning they're exaggerated, and multiple Church Fathers didn't take them literally - then it's still not genocide because no one was targeted for their race, but for their behavior.

Get the book Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan, or simply look at the peer-reviewed article he published under the same title.
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« Reply #117 on: February 18, 2011, 03:16:03 PM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

What occurred in the Old Testament wasn't genocide or the advocacy of genocide. If you take the stories literally - which you shouldn't because their written in an Ancient Near East war narrative, meaning they're exaggerated, and multiple Church Fathers didn't take them literally - then it's still not genocide because no one was targeted for their race, but for their behavior.

Get the book Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan, or simply look at the peer-reviewed article he published under the same title.

Jigga-what?

So everything is non-"literal" until Jesus? Exaggeration does mean the Israelites were not destroying peoples and their gods in the sake of and in obedience to God.

God had to work with what was available. Which includes genocide, fratricide, incest, murder, on and on and on to get a genealogy from Adam to the Theotokos so that the Incarnation could become possible.

What always amazed me about the OT is the fact, these things were kept in and never tossed it. It is about an honest and scandalous picture of a people struggling with God as I have ever read.

It offends modern Christian and secular mores, so both rush to toss it in their own ways.

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« Reply #118 on: February 18, 2011, 10:57:28 PM »

Quote
In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

What occurred in the Old Testament wasn't genocide or the advocacy of genocide. If you take the stories literally - which you shouldn't because their written in an Ancient Near East war narrative, meaning they're exaggerated, and multiple Church Fathers didn't take them literally - then it's still not genocide because no one was targeted for their race, but for their behavior.

Get the book Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan, or simply look at the peer-reviewed article he published under the same title.

Jigga-what?

So everything is non-"literal" until Jesus? Exaggeration does mean the Israelites were not destroying peoples and their gods in the sake of and in obedience to God.

God had to work with what was available. Which includes genocide, fratricide, incest, murder, on and on and on to get a genealogy from Adam to the Theotokos so that the Incarnation could become possible.

What always amazed me about the OT is the fact, these things were kept in and never tossed it. It is about an honest and scandalous picture of a people struggling with God as I have ever read.

It offends modern Christian and secular mores, so both rush to toss it in their own ways.

No, these stories were indeed exaggerated.  Sometimes, a whole group of people that were considered destroyed in one chapter actually still exists later in another chapter in a different book.  I used to struggle with this point, but it is clear I have personally not found a Church father actually advocate a literal interpretation of these particular chapters.  Usually, either they were completely ignored in their exegesis, or they were teaching an allegorical interpretation of it.
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« Reply #119 on: February 18, 2011, 11:10:10 PM »

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In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

What occurred in the Old Testament wasn't genocide or the advocacy of genocide. If you take the stories literally - which you shouldn't because their written in an Ancient Near East war narrative, meaning they're exaggerated, and multiple Church Fathers didn't take them literally - then it's still not genocide because no one was targeted for their race, but for their behavior.

Get the book Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan, or simply look at the peer-reviewed article he published under the same title.

Jigga-what?

So everything is non-"literal" until Jesus? Exaggeration does mean the Israelites were not destroying peoples and their gods in the sake of and in obedience to God.

God had to work with what was available. Which includes genocide, fratricide, incest, murder, on and on and on to get a genealogy from Adam to the Theotokos so that the Incarnation could become possible.

What always amazed me about the OT is the fact, these things were kept in and never tossed it. It is about an honest and scandalous picture of a people struggling with God as I have ever read.

It offends modern Christian and secular mores, so both rush to toss it in their own ways.



^ This.

God had to build a nation in a very primitive society. Let's not be anachronistic on top of exceedingly silly.

Quote from: minasoliman
No, these stories were indeed exaggerated.  Sometimes, a whole group of people that were considered destroyed in one chapter actually still exists later in another chapter in a different book.  I used to struggle with this point, but it is clear I have personally not found a Church father actually advocate a literal interpretation of these particular chapters.  Usually, either they were completely ignored in their exegesis, or they were teaching an allegorical interpretation of it.

I think calling it exaggeration would be equally anachronistic. The strict, verifiable journalistic standards that we are used to did not exist in antiquity, so it's not quite fair to simply say "exaggeration"; it's more complicated than that.

Nor do I think we need to say that, since something is not precise or journalistically accurate, it is allegory. Not to say that it may not have propaganda aspects, but no more than any other ancient writing that we accept more or less at face value.

IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.
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« Reply #120 on: February 19, 2011, 03:58:38 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.
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« Reply #121 on: February 19, 2011, 04:03:45 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

Your reading comprehension needs work.
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« Reply #122 on: February 19, 2011, 04:10:11 AM »

I am studying for a degree in environmental science and frankly the more I learn the more convinced of God I am.

One thing for example is the sheer amount of differences in the genetics of people and the fact that we are still able to produce children together. If you don't know much about this you may assume that people are more or less genetically the same. You hear how we have 98% of our genes in common with chimpanzees... but really that should tell you how different 2% really is. When a mother and father have a child together there isn't just a 50% chance or 25% of them getting one or the other's, their genes actually do all kinds of crazy things where they mix up. Actually, there's something like 7 billion possibilities for them to mix up and become new versions of genes that neither parent actually had. This might not mean much to most people but to me it seems miraculous that you can actually get a functioning and healthy organism out of such a system on a consistent basis, and it seems miraculous that any two people actually have similar enough genetic code that its actually workable between two people from any place on earth even after thousands of years of their populations being separate and becoming what really is desperately dissimilar.
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« Reply #123 on: February 19, 2011, 05:52:53 AM »

Quote
I am studying for a degree in environmental science and frankly the more I learn the more convinced of God I am.

You have a long way to go. But I wish you luck in your studies.


Quote
One thing for example is the sheer amount of differences in the genetics of people and the fact that we are still able to produce children together.

This first statement tells me that you have a long way to go in your studies.

Quote
You hear how we have 98% of our genes in common with chimpanzees... but really that should tell you how different 2% really is

This is not an argument because this right here tells me you haven't probably passed your first class in genetics. Lets evaluate the following:

00101
00100

You sate "Are shown to have 98% of our genes in common with Chimps and only 2% difference"..And you seemingly had done so while not comprehending that such changes are not important in regards to the percentage of change but rather the change in function of the differences in the genome.. Hence, the above set of digits can be considered binary code to which the two codes can server two different functions. The effects greatly depend on the code difference and not directly to the percentage of difference in the code. such as even the fusion of both codes together as seen in the fusion of chromosome 2. The most visible difference is that all apes have one more pair of chromosomes than people do. The reason is simple enough to find: at some point in the past, two middle-sized ape chromosomes fused together in the ancestors of all human beings to form the large human chromosome known as chromosome #2. This fusion would make Humans and Chimps completely sterile of each other to where Macro-evolution has taken place (the point where they can no-longer breed together and become separate species). And that is not the only thing that separates us from Chimps. there is a lot of C-banding to which differentiates us from Chimps (junk DNA sequences) In the human the characteristic zones are at the middle, or centromere, of each chromosome... are slightly below the centromere on chromosomes 1, 9, and 16; and make up most of the Y chromosome. We humans are the only species of the Great Apes to have this pattern in our Genome.

http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm
http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/chro.all.html

the Hominoid Phylogeny (ancestral tree) based on these chromosome comparisons:
http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/chr.clad.html

Quote
When a mother and father have a child together there isn't just a 50% chance or 25% of them getting one or the other's, their genes actually do all kinds of crazy things where they mix up.

It must amaze you that people come out as people lol.. uhh, you don't know what you are talking about. :/
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 06:03:43 AM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #124 on: February 19, 2011, 06:30:53 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

Your reading comprehension needs work.

Why would that need work? I stated a fact. Basically if you want to get down to very basis of the that argument. It's man assuming the will of an invisible GOD they keep locked away in the invisible stable while trying to argue he's incomprehensible unless you believe all their assumed nonsense on faith alone.. Yeah... That's like duct taping the horses mouth knowing it can't speak for itself. Worse yet, it's equivalent to putting words into it's mouth without proving it said anything at all. You then get the self-invented interpretations of what the bible says by Christians themselves who even go as far as to add words to scripture to change it's meaning to manipulate it into a context in their favor. It's disingenuous from the beginning.
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« Reply #125 on: February 19, 2011, 10:59:11 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of some 80 books, written over the course of 2000 years by dozens of different people in many different genres. To paint with such a broad brush is the height of ignorance.

You should learn about the things you're debating beforehand so you don't say silly things in the future.
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« Reply #126 on: February 19, 2011, 11:03:40 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

Your reading comprehension needs work.

Why would that need work? I stated a fact. Basically if you want to get down to very basis of the that argument. It's man assuming the will of an invisible GOD they keep locked away in the invisible stable while trying to argue he's incomprehensible unless you believe all their assumed nonsense on faith alone.. Yeah... That's like duct taping the horses mouth knowing it can't speak for itself. Worse yet, it's equivalent to putting words into it's mouth without proving it said anything at all. You then get the self-invented interpretations of what the bible says by Christians themselves who even go as far as to add words to scripture to change it's meaning to manipulate it into a context in their favor. It's disingenuous from the beginning.

Again, you're treating us like sola scripturists. We do not interpret the Bible for ourselves in Orthodoxy, since that causes all sorts of strange beliefs to appear (nor do we adhere to sola fide), so your caricature is meaningless.
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« Reply #127 on: February 19, 2011, 01:02:47 PM »

Quote
In Orthodox understanding, the idea of a powerful genocidal God is not a matter of advocating the literality of the story, but on its surface, for a primitive "babyish" minded people, it's a matter of keeping them in check (if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you, but on the flip side, in the good stories, if you do good things, good things will happen to you; see how bad things happened to bad people?).  The idea of the NT in theological terms is that the human race has reached a certain level of maturity in thinking, and so such ideas can be seen in a spiritual manner, like the destruction of sin and evil (consider the fact that many of the "genocides" included the destruction of all the animals and booty, which is illogical at the time for certain spoils of war).


That's self-inventing your own context. Which of course is disingenuous.. The cherry picking of what you choose to take literally and what you don't is pretty funny. Regardless, even the concept or introduction of genocide alone is enough to call it a retard of the mouth, and very poor leadership skills. And the fact that sin could even "exist" is just poor design entirely.

What occurred in the Old Testament wasn't genocide or the advocacy of genocide. If you take the stories literally - which you shouldn't because their written in an Ancient Near East war narrative, meaning they're exaggerated, and multiple Church Fathers didn't take them literally - then it's still not genocide because no one was targeted for their race, but for their behavior.

Get the book Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan, or simply look at the peer-reviewed article he published under the same title.

Jigga-what?

So everything is non-"literal" until Jesus? Exaggeration does mean the Israelites were not destroying peoples and their gods in the sake of and in obedience to God.

God had to work with what was available. Which includes genocide, fratricide, incest, murder, on and on and on to get a genealogy from Adam to the Theotokos so that the Incarnation could become possible.

What always amazed me about the OT is the fact, these things were kept in and never tossed it. It is about an honest and scandalous picture of a people struggling with God as I have ever read.

It offends modern Christian and secular mores, so both rush to toss it in their own ways.



I'm not simply writing it off or saying such events didn't happen. What I am arguing is that we shouldn't take such writings at face value because they were written in a war narrative format, meaning that there were some exaggerations put in place. That's not simply writing it off, but merely pointing out the facts as they were.

Likewise, I agree that God was working with what He was given. Hence why the original Law was incomplete. And while the Israelites did kill certain people, we should also understand that it may not be to the extend presented in the Old Testament due to the writing style.
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« Reply #128 on: February 19, 2011, 05:36:06 PM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them.

Ok, agreed.  May be God was behind it, may be not: got a question specifically about Christianity though (probably one all of you have heard before). 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.


Where'd Zeus go?
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« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2011, 09:38:57 PM »

Zeus, you nred to stop thinking about this as an "either-or" question. The Universe could well have started as a Big Bang, and Evolution is likely the origin of the various species, but this doesn't preclude the possibility that God is behind them.

Ok, agreed.  May be God was behind it, may be not: got a question specifically about Christianity though (probably one all of you have heard before). 

If I'm correct about this: The basis of Christianity—and the whole point of Jesus resurrecting—was to give each person the freedom to be saved from original sin.  Original sin only exists because of Adam & Eve.  So if evolution as the origin of species is true (not just human evolution but everything from protoplasm to primates), then would it mean that the Adam & Eve story/Christianity is not true?

I know that both evolution and the Adam & Eve story can both be true if God physically placed all the evidence for evolution there himself, but I'm slightly more inclined to believe that the evidence is legitimate.


Where'd Zeus go?

We got into his Hera too much.  Zing!
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« Reply #130 on: February 20, 2011, 12:22:18 AM »


Quote
When a mother and father have a child together there isn't just a 50% chance or 25% of them getting one or the other's, their genes actually do all kinds of crazy things where they mix up.

It must amaze you that people come out as people lol.. uhh, you don't know what you are talking about. :/

Actually you don't know what I am talking about (not that you don't know about it but you have mis-identified what I am speaking of) and going on about something else. Btw, what I am talking about in that sentence are called transposons. Its amazing it works at all, no other encoding system would work and produce coherent results with such variability. If you disagree I don't care, but it doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about.
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« Reply #131 on: February 20, 2011, 12:48:59 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of some 80 books, written over the course of 2000 years by dozens of different people in many different genres. To paint with such a broad brush is the height of ignorance.

You should learn about the things you're debating beforehand so you don't say silly things in the future.

Actually we can because the Bible is supposed to be GOD's letter to humanity.. Perhaps you might admit that it wasn't divinely written?? If so, you have a problem sir... And I've even seen Christians add words, or try to change to meaning of scripture to mean something else more often than I can count. Like I said, if you took all the Christians in the world and compiled all there interpretations of the scripture, it would be completely and utterly incoherent. Everyone seems to have their own self-invented context. Especially when going around professing the will of a Deity that doesn't speak for itself. A perfect example is when theists deflect from Jesus comments about tossing Mountains into the sea ect.. They start self-inventing their own interpretations, add words to, or intentionally don't follow the literal context in which it were written.

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« Reply #132 on: February 20, 2011, 12:58:57 AM »

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Likewise, I agree that God was working with what He was given.

O.o

I thought he was omniscient, and the creator of all that there is to be seen, heard, smelled or sensed? He should have known better before hand? Oh wait, maybe it knew all along and thought it would be great! Just like birth defects, animals ripping each other apart for food, or peoples ability to blow each other up and commit genocide. Wink Would you tell me that he wouldn't have known everything Hitler would have done prior to his creation? And the logical magical answer to get people to follow the ten commandments would be to depict himself committing genocide? Seriously?

Quote
sola scripturists

you still base much of your belief on scripture. The rest is that of your own self-invention, or professing of GOD.. Now try letting GOD himself profess his own agenda and will.
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« Reply #133 on: February 20, 2011, 01:28:02 AM »


Quote
When a mother and father have a child together there isn't just a 50% chance or 25% of them getting one or the other's, their genes actually do all kinds of crazy things where they mix up.

It must amaze you that people come out as people lol.. uhh, you don't know what you are talking about. :/

Actually you don't know what I am talking about (not that you don't know about it but you have mis-identified what I am speaking of) and going on about something else. Btw, what I am talking about in that sentence are called transposons. Its amazing it works at all, no other encoding system would work and produce coherent results with such variability. If you disagree I don't care, but it doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about.

The way you phrased your argument could have gone in different directions. You should have specified what you were talking about. I'm not a mind reader. However, lets touch on that subject for a second Wink

I would Like you to post the Class II DNAtransposons and how this relates to evolution Smiley
Quote
Its amazing it works at all

not really because such things can simply be stated as:

Quote
3) "Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns.
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« Reply #134 on: February 20, 2011, 03:06:10 AM »

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IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of some 80 books, written over the course of 2000 years by dozens of different people in many different genres. To paint with such a broad brush is the height of ignorance.

You should learn about the things you're debating beforehand so you don't say silly things in the future.

Actually we can because the Bible is supposed to be GOD's letter to humanity.. Perhaps you might admit that it wasn't divinely written?? If so, you have a problem sir... And I've even seen Christians add words, or try to change to meaning of scripture to mean something else more often than I can count. Like I said, if you took all the Christians in the world and compiled all there interpretations of the scripture, it would be completely and utterly incoherent. Everyone seems to have their own self-invented context. Especially when going around professing the will of a Deity that doesn't speak for itself. A perfect example is when theists deflect from Jesus comments about tossing Mountains into the sea ect.. They start self-inventing their own interpretations, add words to, or intentionally don't follow the literal context in which it were written.


It's a good thing Orthodoxy doesn't base itself off the innerancy of the Bible. Furthermore why would we care about other interpretations by all Christians? Many of them condone heresies, without even knowing it. The only sole authority to interpret the Holy Scriptures is the one who gave birth to them, The Church.
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« Reply #135 on: February 20, 2011, 03:32:27 AM »

Quote
IMO, the best way to approach these seemingly-outlandish stories is that they are true, even if they are not precisely fact.


Ahh, and that's where the cherry picking starts.. When a book of "truth" has outladish stories it can be said in fair argument that anything in the book can be considered to be an outlandish story.. Such as Jesus's resurrection. Or the existence of a Deity. Funny how that works. And then off to the self-invented interpretations of context of anything in the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of some 80 books, written over the course of 2000 years by dozens of different people in many different genres. To paint with such a broad brush is the height of ignorance.

You should learn about the things you're debating beforehand so you don't say silly things in the future.

Actually we can because the Bible is supposed to be GOD's letter to humanity.. Perhaps you might admit that it wasn't divinely written?? If so, you have a problem sir... And I've even seen Christians add words, or try to change to meaning of scripture to mean something else more often than I can count. Like I said, if you took all the Christians in the world and compiled all there interpretations of the scripture, it would be completely and utterly incoherent. Everyone seems to have their own self-invented context. Especially when going around professing the will of a Deity that doesn't speak for itself. A perfect example is when theists deflect from Jesus comments about tossing Mountains into the sea ect.. They start self-inventing their own interpretations, add words to, or intentionally don't follow the literal context in which it were written.


It's a good thing Orthodoxy doesn't base itself off the innerancy of the Bible. Furthermore why would we care about other interpretations by all Christians? Many of them condone heresies, without even knowing it. The only sole authority to interpret the Holy Scriptures is the one who gave birth to them, The Church.


Really.. I didn't realize the "Church" had any real authority.. You can also feel free to validate and substantiate that anything would be considered Heresies. Especially when one claims their GOD to be Omniscient. So you think your version of Christianity is truth vs others? Care to validate that? Perhaps have GOD himself to speak for himself and profess his own will? And what makes you think I trust the Church? The Church doesn't have any authority what-so-ever.
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« Reply #136 on: February 20, 2011, 06:03:42 PM »

I'm going to be very basic and superficial about this. If any other board member wants to expand or correct me, please by all means.

There are a few things you would have to suppose before I actually validate the authority of the Church, namely the Orthodox Church.

So you must first suppose that Jesus Christ is the God-incarnate. Fully man and fully God. He is the direct image of the unoriginate Father.

Also you must also suppose that Jesus Christ established just one Church. And in this Church he gave authority to the Apostles and passed down the tradition of the Church to their discsiples, so on and so forth. Established a line of succession with bishops, priests and deacons.

Once you suppose this then we can move forward, and I think it's a fair supposition no?

So this one Church had the authority for example using what are known as Ecumenical Councils, to distinguish what is heresy and from what is tradition. But also establishing key doctrines of the Christian belief. 325AD the first Ecumenical Council of Nicea was formed and established a creed of what the Church believed. You can read this creed here: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/creed It also discussed Arianism, which was deemed as a heresy by this Council.

Now as you are probably well aware of there were gnostic gospels and writings around that claimed to be written by the apostles themselves, like the Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary Magdelene, Apocalypse of Peter, etc.

However the Bible wasn't canonically formed until 397AD at the Council of Carthage. So if the Bible wasn't formed until that late, what in the world did Christians believe and accept? By Holy Tradition, the faith that was passed down by the Apostles. So with this Tradition it selected which documents that were written by the Apostles or what was accepted by the Church. So by the Church can it only properly interpret the Bible because it gave birth to it.

You still following me?

But why then, like you say, people don't hold the Church to authority? Well there were certain events and people in history that went above the Church's authority on some of its dogma and doctrine. I'm not going to give you a history lesson on this because it is pretty lengthy and my own knowledge is vague at best. But keeping this in mind led to what we would classify the Great Schism of 1054AD. Where the Roman Patriachate at the time (there were 5 in total) schismed away for various reasons, for example adding what is called the filioque clause to a 700 year old Nicene Creed. So when this Patriachate schismed he established what we know as Roman Catholicsm, and in turn that Patriachate became the Pope. Now this is a very superficial high overview of what happened during this time, granted I could go much more in depth but I don't want to spend too much time here. However it must be known what lead to this more or less is people issued certain doctrines that went above the actual authority of the Church. And because of going against that authoirty, it was only a matter of time until certain people started questioning if Christ actually existed, what was He like, etc etc.

Those original 4 Patriachates (One in Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople) though that remained in communion? Became the Orthodox Church which claims it is the original Church Christ established. By the canons of the Church, the tradition and its history, it is qualified to make this claim. It traces its lineage all the way back to the Apostles. Has professed the same faith for 2000 years. Granted I haven't talked about Oriental Orthodox or Old Calendarists, but I was to be as basic as I can about this so we are on the same page. Now on the Bible, the early Church used a Greek version of the OT called the Septuagint, which was a Jewish translation that was more or less completed in 145 BCE. There were quite a number of changes made into the Septuagint which reflected certain prophecies, etc. It has alot more books than what is found in the majority of Protestant Bibles and has books that Roman Catholics do not use either. Furthermore if the Orthodox Church gave birth to the Bible, which it claims, should it not have the authority on its interpretation?
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« Reply #137 on: February 21, 2011, 04:48:27 AM »

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So you must first suppose that Jesus Christ is the God-incarnate.

I don't suppose it.. Perhaps your Church can validate that for us because it seems to do a lot of "supposing". I even gave you and the Church a Jesus honesty test and that didn't bare any fruit either. So lets suppose man is professing the will of a deity vs a deity professing it's own will. So do you play the wager game? I see all assertions of heresy ect and yet no validation of such.. Especially when you claim a GOD to be Omniscient.. Heresy at that point would be impossible anyways  Roll Eyes So before you go about claiming heresy, or that people like gays are abominations ect..Take some time to critically think about your positions. Perhaps you can have your GOD come before man and simply just say "hey, this is how it works kids". Oh yeah, the claim that "GOD" chooses not to interfere right? Perhaps you could validate that as well? Your Church only seems to have Authority over assumptions. And when it comes down to it, giving if your GOD existed, the Church would hold no authority what-so-ever. Organized religions these days are a multi-billion dollar industry. The profiteering off ignorance. Regardless, you are in no position to be speaking for something you can't even show to exist. The horses mouth is the only mouth that matters in this discussion.

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« Reply #138 on: February 21, 2011, 10:37:44 AM »

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So you must first suppose that Jesus Christ is the God-incarnate.

I don't suppose it.. Perhaps your Church can validate that for us because it seems to do a lot of "supposing". I even gave you and the Church a Jesus honesty test and that didn't bare any fruit either. So lets suppose man is professing the will of a deity vs a deity professing it's own will. So do you play the wager game? I see all assertions of heresy ect and yet no validation of such.. Especially when you claim a GOD to be Omniscient.. Heresy at that point would be impossible anyways  Roll Eyes So before you go about claiming heresy, or that people like gays are abominations ect..Take some time to critically think about your positions. Perhaps you can have your GOD come before man and simply just say "hey, this is how it works kids". Oh yeah, the claim that "GOD" chooses not to interfere right? Perhaps you could validate that as well? Your Church only seems to have Authority over assumptions. And when it comes down to it, giving if your GOD existed, the Church would hold no authority what-so-ever. Organized religions these days are a multi-billion dollar industry. The profiteering off ignorance. Regardless, you are in no position to be speaking for something you can't even show to exist. The horses mouth is the only mouth that matters in this discussion.


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« Reply #139 on: December 14, 2012, 03:27:43 AM »

And real truth is never true without actually validating it.

The irony. Moving forward, that is not how it works. Real truth is true whether we can "validate" it or not. I think a more accurate way to view it would be to state that we are unable to definitively know if something is "real truth" UNLESS we can validate it. In which case, I think we would agree. However, we then have to ask ourselves the perplexing question of as to what constitutes sufficient validation.

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Assumptions can but rarely lead to truth.

Even more irony. That is the same thing you are doing right now. Moving on, you are falsely assuming that the authors in question were just making baseless assumptions.

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Spiritual truth is what you seek in the philosophy of your belief, but even then without validation actual truth is never verified, or substantiated.

>assuming it is not validated

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Errors in the Bible point to inability to establish truth. It's pretty much a mess.

Only if you interpret it without the proper lenses of the Church

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It's a matter of what truth of philosophy you want to gain from it or see in it.

Nope. It's a matter of submitting to the traditions we were taught via word and epistle from the Apostles which has further been expanded upon, enlightened and explained by God-inspired Church Fathers and theologians through the ages--whether we want to see it or not. Understanding truth in Orthodoxy is more so a matter of submission and humility than simply seeing what we want.

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I never suggested these discrepancies were swept under the rug.  The discrepancies I'm describing are the superficial things, like historical and scientific claims, and inner contradictions in the Scriptures.

Which are not a problem to us because we are not Sola Scriptura literalist Protestants

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Those aren't superficial.. Especially when one of the major contradictions (especially in the New Testament) is Unconditional Love while in the bible GOD himself commits Genocide or hypocrisy of the 10 commandments.

A literalist now are we? How many times do I have to tell you that this is not literalist Protestants? Don't just try to 'lump' all Christianity together because your only exposure to it has been from your backwards Sola Scriptura Bible literalist background. If you are going to debate us, learn about us first. I wouldn't go into a debate with an atheist using arguments against Hinduism, so why do you go into a debate with the Orthodox using arguments against Protestants?

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I don't find spiritual truth in death, murder, genocide, or even the invention of a food chain that rips each-other apart for food to at all be appealing.

That's because you are not a Bronze Age desert barbarian with a childlike mind. While these tales and fables may seem disturbing to you--and rightly so (I'd be more disturbed if they did NOT disturb you)--they may have been seen as glorious to the original people they were written to who lived in the desert nigh 5,000 or so years ago. I find it funny that you had an orgasm for information theory earlier, yet failed to realize this. The ultimate spiritual truth of the Bible is still the same--however, the best way to express it and get it "through" to people will vary because not all people are the same. What's good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Being that humanity has attained a higher level of understanding since the Bronze Age, we now no longer need these violent, disturbing tales to get the spiritual message across to us, but can skip right to the spiritual message itself.

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The spiritual contradictions of the bible are equally apart of the problem for me.

There are only spiritual contradictions when you read them without the guidance of the Church. In fact, I would be more disturbed if you didn't find any spiritual contradictions in reading the Bible without the Church.
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« Reply #140 on: December 14, 2012, 03:30:30 AM »

Dude James why
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« Reply #141 on: December 14, 2012, 03:41:08 AM »

Actually it does..

Nope. It would only state that Pascal had an agenda. Whether or not the logic used in the wager is true or not depends solely on our critical analysis of the logic--not on whether Pascal had an intention to use it in a manipulative way or not.

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The wager is the assumption of two theoretical options when there are an untold number of theoretical options.

Either the God of Christianity exists or He does not exist, a 50/50 chance, the law of the excluded middle. There are no "other options", either He exists or He does not exist. This simple premise is the foundation of Pascal's Wager. Now, I don't necessarily agree with Pascal's further arguments about what this entails--I think that he did in fact get it wrong and overemphasized the benefits if God exists and ignored several of the cons if we go on worshipping Him even though He doesn't exist--but this simple premise--either the Christian God exists or does not exist--are the only two 50/50 options there are in regards to the topic.
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« Reply #142 on: December 14, 2012, 06:14:57 AM »

Dude James why

Ditto that.
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« Reply #143 on: December 14, 2012, 10:19:18 AM »

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« Reply #144 on: December 14, 2012, 10:23:18 AM »

What is this I don't even
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« Reply #145 on: December 14, 2012, 11:27:19 AM »

Either the God of Christianity exists or He does not exist, a 50/50 chance, the law of the excluded middle. There are no "other options", either He exists or He does not exist.  [. . .] but this simple premise--either the Christian God exists or does not exist--are the only two 50/50 options there are in regards to the topic.

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« Reply #146 on: December 14, 2012, 11:47:59 AM »

Actually it does..

Nope. It would only state that Pascal had an agenda. Whether or not the logic used in the wager is true or not depends solely on our critical analysis of the logic--not on whether Pascal had an intention to use it in a manipulative way or not.

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The wager is the assumption of two theoretical options when there are an untold number of theoretical options.

Either the God of Christianity exists or He does not exist, a 50/50 chance, the law of the excluded middle. There are no "other options", either He exists or He does not exist. This simple premise is the foundation of Pascal's Wager. Now, I don't necessarily agree with Pascal's further arguments about what this entails--I think that he did in fact get it wrong and overemphasized the benefits if God exists and ignored several of the cons if we go on worshipping Him even though He doesn't exist--but this simple premise--either the Christian God exists or does not exist--are the only two 50/50 options there are in regards to the topic.

Two options does not mean a 50/50 chance.
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« Reply #147 on: December 14, 2012, 11:51:57 AM »

Actually it does..

Nope. It would only state that Pascal had an agenda. Whether or not the logic used in the wager is true or not depends solely on our critical analysis of the logic--not on whether Pascal had an intention to use it in a manipulative way or not.

Quote
The wager is the assumption of two theoretical options when there are an untold number of theoretical options.

Either the God of Christianity exists or He does not exist, a 50/50 chance, the law of the excluded middle. There are no "other options", either He exists or He does not exist. This simple premise is the foundation of Pascal's Wager. Now, I don't necessarily agree with Pascal's further arguments about what this entails--I think that he did in fact get it wrong and overemphasized the benefits if God exists and ignored several of the cons if we go on worshipping Him even though He doesn't exist--but this simple premise--either the Christian God exists or does not exist--are the only two 50/50 options there are in regards to the topic.

Two options does not mean a 50/50 chance.

Indeed. I think James should maybe try playing the lottery. I mean he can only either win or not win - must be a 50/50 chance of winning
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« Reply #148 on: December 14, 2012, 12:05:26 PM »

lol wow I was a terrible poster.
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« Reply #149 on: December 14, 2012, 01:14:29 PM »

Pascals wager is silly.. You would have to then assume 50/50 that the Pixie fairy lords are the true GODS and that yours is a false idol... Here you are now running the risk of eternal torture of the Pixie lords if you continue to worship this false Idol. However, everyone knows the Pascal wager is essentially nonsense.
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« Reply #150 on: December 14, 2012, 01:34:38 PM »

Whoah, the thread resurrection actually worked. He came back after 2 years.  Shocked
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« Reply #151 on: December 14, 2012, 01:36:06 PM »

However, everyone knows the Pascal wager is essentially nonsense.

Actually it is not.

It is nonsense to those who haven't read Pascal (read nearly everyone) and don't understand the context for the wager (read nearly everyone who has "read" Pascal).

I think I have to repeat this every 8 months or something.

Doesn't mean it is "right" or "correct", but real thought has nothing to do with either.
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« Reply #152 on: December 14, 2012, 02:04:56 PM »

Now concerning the existence of Jesus is rather a fun game considering there is no contemporary record of his existence.. But it goes much deeper than that considering much of what Jesus has said has come from Pagan philosophers that existed during and before his time.. It's even more amusing that it's entirely pagan in origin. What's more interesting is that Christianity really had nothing to do with Yahwism as it pretty much exploited that religious movement to espouse their cult around a Sun GOD..  Basically Christianity essentially began regarding a supposed prophet of Yahweh, and now it's a religious movement to try and usurp and equate Yahweh to Jesus.  Both the Jews and the House of Yahweh, and even Islam will attest to this issue. And we all know that for anyone to claim a trinity in the bible they have to quote mine the bible and make erroneous use of the forged verse in John 5..  And a trinity that makes no coherent sense when you actually try to apply it in other sections of the bible such as Acts, or Genesis..  The other big mistake is Christians thinking the use of the term "Messiah" magically means Jesus when does not.  Worse yet, the Christians would need to explain why Immanuel was actually the foretold to be "Messiah" to which would be related to the Pagan mythology of the EL pantheon..

And it gets worse than that because the origins of Yahweh most likely came from the Eyptian and Sumerian moon GOD's "Sin" and "Yah".. Mt Sinai means "Moon Mountain", and Hallelujah (yah) doesn't just mean "praise Yahweh /Jah", it translates to "praise the moon GOD"


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   One of the false gods the Jews worshipped was Yah. This pagan idol has its roots in Babylon and in Egypt. This is the lunar or moon god. In Babylon the moon god is called "Ia" or Ya. It has both a female and a male identity. In Egypt the Babylonian female "Ia or Ya" was changed into a male god and the female god was named "shua" and made the sky god. When a person then combines these forms into Iashua or Yahshua they have made the moon god the sky god. This Babylonian/Egypt deity is also called Baal throughout the Scriptures. The Jews did worshiped the moon god when they apostated into idolatry from the true God Ehyeh asher Ehyeh (Elohim/Adonai). Look up the word moon in Hebrew and it is "yareah" which is the same as "Yahweh." Modern Hebrew spells it different now to distort the real identity of their ancient Yah god. They now spell it "yareach." The Yah moon god remains controversial, but the evidence of the Jewish god Yah as the same god as the Babylonian god "Ia-ya" and or the Egyptian moon god Yah is pretty robust.

    "yah, jah, ia" is nothing but the moon god. Saying hallelu-jah means praise the moon god.

This to which is actually supported by archeology:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VpRyWrymPxQ/TgJg2JGeVxI/AAAAAAAAAR0/c5FT_wVMGCM/s1600/batyah-moon-god-yah.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Yddrvouo04/TfySaY0kXuI/AAAAAAAAARk/i28_Qllwa3U/s320/hallelu-yah-stone.jpg

As well as supported by:

    Aah (Yahh): The Moon-God (Yareach - Hebrew)
    excerpted from E.A. Wallis Budge Hieroglyphic Dictionary Vol. I. p.29b

    http://nuwaubian-hotep.net/docs/yah/hebrew_egyptian_moon_god_yah.jpg

And of course through the process of Usurping the Canaanite Pantheon, their Moon Mountain GOD was likely a Volcano GOD of War, or became one through the process of usurping as you can really get into here..

Yahweh: The worshiping of a Volcano / fire GOD of War.

Mountain GOD Worship: Yahweh, God of the Mountains.


Hence the GOD of Abraham was not Yahweh, it was the Amorite GOD Shaddai to which was also referred to as the usurper and equated to EL of the Canaanite Pantheon.  Yahweh's roots do not appear to involve the Canaanite pantheon, especially when EL, El Elyon, and El Shaddai are Canaanite and Amorite deities. It's likely the Shasu of Yahweh were likely the evicted Hyksos and brought their moon GOD with them.. and that EL Elyon was only ever attested to the El Pantheon in regards to EL and his son Ba'al.. And no, "EL" was not ever a generic term for "GOD" in that era..It only became so after Yahwists usurped the Canaanite pantheon, or the GOD "EL".  And ba'al gives you a clue in how Yahweh gets equated and introduced into the Pantheon as one of the sons of EL. What's even more interesting is that if you read the story of the battle of Yam vs Ba'al, it's rather funny how Yahweh plays the role of Yam and usurps ba'al by destroying him giving Yahweh's hatred for Ba'al in the bible. However,  with the exception that the story ends with Yahweh winning and taking the thrown.. Hence, in usurping the Canaanite Pantheon, it's a clever play into the El Pantheon mythology and stories..  Lots of clever use of usurping going on back in those ancient times to which we see happening today with Christianity now trying to do the same thing with Yahweh..

In all truth, Christianity is essentially a mixed mutt of usurped pagan oral traditions, religions, gods, beliefs, rituals, philosophy, and culture..  It's why we can look at it and scoff at it's supposed validity even when concerning the "orthodox Church" to whom are essentially just Panentheists / pantheists using the Christian religion as a foundation for their beliefs.. It's like they really believe their version of ancient pagan mythology and their modern Panentheist approach to it would some how be any less mythical. :/
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« Reply #153 on: December 14, 2012, 02:07:22 PM »

And not one point there is true.
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« Reply #154 on: December 14, 2012, 02:23:45 PM »

And not one point there is true.

Yeah, except I actually have citations and links in my posts, and in my posted articles that back me up. But I am not surprised at that blanketed statement / response. I can go much deeper into the subject btw concerning Jesus himself. But those two articles I posted are well supported and do go over the shasu, Abraham, and many other issues.. Most of you don't get how intertwined that region of the world was.. I will come back later tonight and provide a lot of information regarding the origins of the Jesus Christ and where much of that comes from.. And much of that deals with Egyptian mythology... Not entirely, but a good chunk of it does. And I am not talking about the common debunked parallels you might be thinking of as I understand very well that Christianity is a mixed mutt of various Pagan beliefs ect.... Wink
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« Reply #155 on: December 14, 2012, 02:41:30 PM »

I am 33 and what is this?  Huh
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« Reply #156 on: December 14, 2012, 02:51:22 PM »

And not one point there is true.

Yeah, except I actually have citations and links in my posts, and in my posted articles that back me up. But I am not surprised at that blanketed statement / response. I can go much deeper into the subject btw concerning Jesus himself. But those two articles I posted are well supported and do go over the shasu, Abraham, and many other issues.. Most of you don't get how intertwined that region of the world was.. I will come back later tonight and provide a lot of information regarding the origins of the Jesus Christ and where much of that comes from.. And much of that deals with Egyptian mythology... Not entirely, but a good chunk of it does. And I am not talking about the common debunked parallels you might be thinking of as I understand very well that Christianity is a mixed mutt of various Pagan beliefs ect.... Wink

Don't bother.
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« Reply #157 on: December 14, 2012, 03:12:25 PM »

And not one point there is true.

Yeah, except I actually have citations and links in my posts, and in my posted articles that back me up. But I am not surprised at that blanketed statement / response. I can go much deeper into the subject btw concerning Jesus himself. But those two articles I posted are well supported and do go over the shasu, Abraham, and many other issues.. Most of you don't get how intertwined that region of the world was.. I will come back later tonight and provide a lot of information regarding the origins of the Jesus Christ and where much of that comes from.. And much of that deals with Egyptian mythology... Not entirely, but a good chunk of it does. And I am not talking about the common debunked parallels you might be thinking of as I understand very well that Christianity is a mixed mutt of various Pagan beliefs ect.... Wink

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« Reply #158 on: December 14, 2012, 03:17:39 PM »

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #159 on: December 14, 2012, 03:27:52 PM »

Now concerning the existence of Jesus is rather a fun game considering there is no contemporary record of his existence.. But it goes much deeper than that considering much of what Jesus has said has come from Pagan philosophers that existed during and before his time.. It's even more amusing that it's entirely pagan in origin. What's more interesting is that Christianity really had nothing to do with Yahwism as it pretty much exploited that religious movement to espouse their cult around a Sun GOD..  Basically Christianity essentially began regarding a supposed prophet of Yahweh, and now it's a religious movement to try and usurp and equate Yahweh to Jesus.  Both the Jews and the House of Yahweh, and even Islam will attest to this issue. And we all know that for anyone to claim a trinity in the bible they have to quote mine the bible and make erroneous use of the forged verse in John 5..  And a trinity that makes no coherent sense when you actually try to apply it in other sections of the bible such as Acts, or Genesis..  The other big mistake is Christians thinking the use of the term "Messiah" magically means Jesus when does not.  Worse yet, the Christians would need to explain why Immanuel was actually the foretold to be "Messiah" to which would be related to the Pagan mythology of the EL pantheon..

And it gets worse than that because the origins of Yahweh most likely came from the Eyptian and Sumerian moon GOD's "Sin" and "Yah".. Mt Sinai means "Moon Mountain", and Hallelujah (yah) doesn't just mean "praise Yahweh /Jah", it translates to "praise the moon GOD"


Quote
   One of the false gods the Jews worshipped was Yah. This pagan idol has its roots in Babylon and in Egypt. This is the lunar or moon god. In Babylon the moon god is called "Ia" or Ya. It has both a female and a male identity. In Egypt the Babylonian female "Ia or Ya" was changed into a male god and the female god was named "shua" and made the sky god. When a person then combines these forms into Iashua or Yahshua they have made the moon god the sky god. This Babylonian/Egypt deity is also called Baal throughout the Scriptures. The Jews did worshiped the moon god when they apostated into idolatry from the true God Ehyeh asher Ehyeh (Elohim/Adonai). Look up the word moon in Hebrew and it is "yareah" which is the same as "Yahweh." Modern Hebrew spells it different now to distort the real identity of their ancient Yah god. They now spell it "yareach." The Yah moon god remains controversial, but the evidence of the Jewish god Yah as the same god as the Babylonian god "Ia-ya" and or the Egyptian moon god Yah is pretty robust.

    "yah, jah, ia" is nothing but the moon god. Saying hallelu-jah means praise the moon god.

This to which is actually supported by archeology:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VpRyWrymPxQ/TgJg2JGeVxI/AAAAAAAAAR0/c5FT_wVMGCM/s1600/batyah-moon-god-yah.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Yddrvouo04/TfySaY0kXuI/AAAAAAAAARk/i28_Qllwa3U/s320/hallelu-yah-stone.jpg

As well as supported by:

    Aah (Yahh): The Moon-God (Yareach - Hebrew)
    excerpted from E.A. Wallis Budge Hieroglyphic Dictionary Vol. I. p.29b

    http://nuwaubian-hotep.net/docs/yah/hebrew_egyptian_moon_god_yah.jpg

And of course through the process of Usurping the Canaanite Pantheon, their Moon Mountain GOD was likely a Volcano GOD of War, or became one through the process of usurping as you can really get into here..

Yahweh: The worshiping of a Volcano / fire GOD of War.

Mountain GOD Worship: Yahweh, God of the Mountains.


Hence the GOD of Abraham was not Yahweh, it was the Amorite GOD Shaddai to which was also referred to as the usurper and equated to EL of the Canaanite Pantheon.  Yahweh's roots do not appear to involve the Canaanite pantheon, especially when EL, El Elyon, and El Shaddai are Canaanite and Amorite deities. It's likely the Shasu of Yahweh were likely the evicted Hyksos and brought their moon GOD with them.. and that EL Elyon was only ever attested to the El Pantheon in regards to EL and his son Ba'al.. And no, "EL" was not ever a generic term for "GOD" in that era..It only became so after Yahwists usurped the Canaanite pantheon, or the GOD "EL".  And ba'al gives you a clue in how Yahweh gets equated and introduced into the Pantheon as one of the sons of EL. What's even more interesting is that if you read the story of the battle of Yam vs Ba'al, it's rather funny how Yahweh plays the role of Yam and usurps ba'al by destroying him giving Yahweh's hatred for Ba'al in the bible. However,  with the exception that the story ends with Yahweh winning and taking the thrown.. Hence, in usurping the Canaanite Pantheon, it's a clever play into the El Pantheon mythology and stories..  Lots of clever use of usurping going on back in those ancient times to which we see happening today with Christianity now trying to do the same thing with Yahweh..

In all truth, Christianity is essentially a mixed mutt of usurped pagan oral traditions, religions, gods, beliefs, rituals, philosophy, and culture..  It's why we can look at it and scoff at it's supposed validity even when concerning the "orthodox Church" to whom are essentially just Panentheists / pantheists using the Christian religion as a foundation for their beliefs.. It's like they really believe their version of ancient pagan mythology and their modern Panentheist approach to it would some how be any less mythical. :/
I wouldn't believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes: someone has actually made the Jehovah Witnesses look rational and well thought out.
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« Reply #160 on: December 14, 2012, 03:29:32 PM »


    http://nuwaubian-hotep.net/docs/yah/hebrew_egyptian_moon_god_yah.jpg
I know the Nuwaubians. You might want to find another source.
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« Reply #161 on: December 14, 2012, 05:37:39 PM »

You would have to then assume 50/50 that the Pixie fairy lords are the true GODS and that yours is a false idol...

It is a 50/50 chance. Essentially every premise can be reduced to 50/50. Either A is true or A is not true.

Quote
Here you are now running the risk of eternal torture of the Pixie lords if you continue to worship this false Idol.

Your point? Appeal to emotion much?


Quote
However, everyone knows the Pascal wager is essentially nonsense

Only when you isolate it, view it apart from its context which is clearly given in Pensees and try to act all big and bad mocking it in an atheist echo chamber forum online.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 05:41:07 PM by JamesR » Logged

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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #162 on: December 14, 2012, 05:47:59 PM »

It is a 50/50 chance. Essentially every premise can be reduced to 50/50. Either A is true or A is not true.

James stop this please.

I don't "believe in" the law of the excluded middle, but that doesn't matter here.

James in a standard deck of playing cards, what are the odds of you picking the ace of spades blindly?

You will either pick it or you won't, right?

You can't both pick and not pick it?

But would you give me even odds on your not choosing it?

To be clear, would you let me bet that money you are saving for your laptop that you are NOT going to pick the ace of spades blindly with even odds?

If you pick it, you get $800.
If you don't, I get $800.

If you are willing to make such wagers, please let me know. Achronos will hold our money and take 10% vig on the loser, OK?
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« Reply #163 on: December 14, 2012, 05:49:48 PM »

EDIT: Hmm, nevermind. Don't think I want to get caught up in this.
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« Reply #164 on: December 14, 2012, 06:02:06 PM »

Sad Wait, so you're telling me that the law of the excluded middle is fake?....,I guess I'll just leave this thread before I make an even bigger fool of myself
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #165 on: December 14, 2012, 06:35:23 PM »

Pascals wager is silly.. You would have to then assume 50/50 that the Pixie fairy lords are the true GODS and that yours is a false idol... Here you are now running the risk of eternal torture of the Pixie lords if you continue to worship this false Idol. However, everyone knows the Pascal wager is essentially nonsense.

Well, the Pixies are awesome. So you're right about that.

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« Reply #166 on: December 14, 2012, 06:51:54 PM »

And not one point there is true.

Yeah, except I actually have citations and links in my posts, and in my posted articles that back me up. But I am not surprised at that blanketed statement / response. I can go much deeper into the subject btw concerning Jesus himself. But those two articles I posted are well supported and do go over the shasu, Abraham, and many other issues.. Most of you don't get how intertwined that region of the world was.. I will come back later tonight and provide a lot of information regarding the origins of the Jesus Christ and where much of that comes from.. And much of that deals with Egyptian mythology... Not entirely, but a good chunk of it does. And I am not talking about the common debunked parallels you might be thinking of as I understand very well that Christianity is a mixed mutt of various Pagan beliefs ect.... Wink

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This is an interesting thought however I would like to see some citation on this.

I would also like to point out to give the director a serpent deflector, a mudrat detector, a ribbon reflector, a cushion convector, a picture of nectar, a viral dissector, a hormone collector. Also you gotta set the gearshift to the high gear of your soul and run like an atelope, out of control.

The following link should provide accurate citation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZIV365B7aQ
 
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« Reply #167 on: December 14, 2012, 08:13:25 PM »

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In all truth, Christianity is essentially a mixed mutt of usurped pagan oral traditions, religions, gods, beliefs, rituals, philosophy, and culture..  It's why we can look at it and scoff at it's supposed validity even when concerning the "orthodox Church" to whom are essentially just Panentheists / pantheists using the Christian religion as a foundation for their beliefs

Well, when christianity has some "pagan" elements, that doesn't mean automatically that it used it for his religion. So you wish that the truth religion should be free from pagan elements? You can never find such a religion! The pagan culture before Christ was born, was so manifold and large, that you cannot wish: "I'll believe in God, if he gives me a religion which is free of pagan stuff!". nope. Christianity has some elements, which are similiar to pagan culture, but that doesn't mean that they inherited it.
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« Reply #168 on: December 14, 2012, 08:15:06 PM »

If we throw out everything we inherited from pre-Christian times, there goes the Greek alphabet. Yeah, that's going to go over really well at my parish.  Tongue
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« Reply #169 on: December 14, 2012, 08:53:05 PM »

If we throw out everything we inherited from pre-Christian times, there goes the Greek alphabet.

And the Roman alphabet as well...
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« Reply #170 on: December 14, 2012, 08:57:52 PM »

If somebody don't believe in God he should ask himself: how should God create this world(without breaking the free will of man) so that he could believe in him.......
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« Reply #171 on: December 15, 2012, 01:43:38 AM »

Quote
I wouldn't believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes: someone has actually made the Jehovah Witnesses look rational and well thought out.

That would be quite the Irony of a statement on this board.. However, the information I provided is cited to which includes the Hieroglyphic Dictionary.. Whether people can deal with that is up to them... But the next time you yell out Hallelujah , or Halleluyah, be sure to remember what it actually means.  However we aren't on board where anyone really cares about the facts concerning the history of the Christian religion, or realize that it is entirely of Pagan origin.. You aren't using the names El Elyon, El, or EL Shaddai for no reason, and you would have to be severely woeful in ignorance to think it's not Pagan.. But hey, you can believe whatever you want to believe.. But as one has said here, facts don't change regardless what you believe..

And I don't see anyone providing any real rebuttal, you can go look those up if you need to.  Heck here's a link concerning Mount Sinai:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13766-sinai-mount
Quote
It is evident that, long before the promulgation of the Law, Mount Sinai was one of the sacred places in which one of the local Semitic divinities had been worshiped. This is clearly indicated in Ex. iii. 5: the ground was holy, for it was Yhwh's special dwelling-place. The expression "and brought you unto myself" (Ex. xix. 4) means that Yhwh brought the Israelites to His mountain. The two names of Sinai and Horeb, meaning respectively "moon" and "sun,"

In this case giving Sin and Yah being moon gods, it's appropriate that Mount Sinai means moon Mountain..
Quote
Horeb is thought to mean glowing/heat, which seems to be a reference to the sun, while Sinai may have derived from the name of Sin, the Sumerian deity of the moon,[2][3] and thus Sinai and Horeb would be the mountain of the moon and sun, respectively.[2]

^ a b Jewish Encyclopedia, Mount Horeb
^ a b c "Mount Horeb". Jewish Encyclopedia.

Which fits pretty well with a volcano Mountain GOD even if the deities Yah and Sin were originally moon GOD's from the Egyptians and the Sumerians.  You can reference this here:

Quote
(Akkadian: Su'en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian mythology of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. The two chief seats of Nanna's/Sin's worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.

And there are plenty of other citations regarding Mt Sinai:

Quote
http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T4424

(mownt ssi' nay i) Mountain in the south central part of a peninsula in the northwestern end of Arabia. God made many significant revelations of Himself and His purposes to Israel there. The meaning of the name is unclear; but it probably means “shining” and was likely derived from the word sin, a Babylonian moon god. The suggestion that it means “clayey” does not in any way fit the nature of the terrain.

You add all this evidence up and it's pretty damn clear.. Even the Sinai dessert is likely named after the Sumerian moon god "Sin"  as "Sin" is entirely Sumerian in origin.. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Akkadians took the word Suen and transformed it into the word Sin as their favorite name for the Moon-God. As Prof. Potts pointed out, "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites. "

In ancient Syria and Canna, the Moon-god Sin was usually represented by the moon in its crescent phase. At times the full moon was placed inside the crescent moon to emphasize all the phases of the moon. The sun-goddess was the wife of Sin and the stars were their daughters. For example, Istar was a daughter of Sin. Sacrifices to the Moon-god are described in the Pas Shamra texts. In the Ugaritic texts, the Moon-god was sometimes called Kusuh. In Persia, as well as in Egypt, the Moon-god is depicted on wall murals and on the heads of statues. He was the Judge of men and gods. The Old Testament constantly rebuked the worship of the Moon-god (see: Deut. 4:19;17:3; II Kngs. 21:3,5; 23:5; Jer. 8:2; 19:13; Zeph. 1:5, etc.) When Israel fell into idolatry, it was usually the cult of the Moon-god. As a matter of fact, everywhere in the ancient world, the symbol of the crescent moon can be found on seal impressions, steles, pottery, amulets, clay tablets, cylinders, weights, earrings, necklaces, wall murals, etc. In Tell-el-Obeid, a copper calf was found with a crescent moon on its forehead.

Quote
And we even find the same connection in Islam:

Quote
The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being."

It gets much more obvious when you also note that the Isrealites worshiped the image of the Golden Calf.. To which of course, and I quote someone else here:

Quote
The golden calf was a common Near Eastern symbol of the moon god. In the Bible, we see the Israelites worshipping the golden calf during the Exodus, then next during the reign of Jeroboam, the first king of the northern Hebrew kingdom. Although few references have survived in the Bible, the moon god was clearly an important part of ancient Israelite culture.

And here:
Quote
According to the Hebrew Bible, the golden calf (עֵגֶּל הַזָהָב ‘ēggel hazâhâḇ) was an idol (a cult image) made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai. The calf was intended to be a physical representation of the God of Israel, and therefore was doubly wrong for involving Israel in idolatry and for ascribing physicality to God.

In Hebrew, the incident is known as ḥēṭ’ ha‘ēggel (חֵטְא הַעֵגֶּל) or "The Sin of the Calf". It is first mentioned in Exodus 32:4

So its without a doubt that Yahweh originates from the Sumerian and Egyptian Moon GOD's.. And equated to Ba'al in regards to the Babylonian, and as one of the Sons of EL.. In fact we can see this directly when Yahweh is being equated to El Elyon to which is attested to Ba'al and EL of the Canaanite Pantheon.. And we know now that the Israelites and the Canaanites were the same people and that Yahwism was simply a pagan monotheistic movement intended to usurp the entire Pantheon into one GOD.. Hence the whole conflict was essentially Pagan monotheism vs Pagan Polytheism. And we can see Yahweh being equated to El Elyon quite clearly here:


From the dead sea scrolls:

Quote
   "When El Elyon gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of El. For Yahweh's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance."

This was of course edited to what you find in the duet:

Quote
   Deuteronomy 32:8-9:

    "When the Most High (EL ELyon)(Either EL or Ba'al) divided their inheritance to the nations,
    When He separated the sons of Adam,
    He set the boundaries of the peoples
    According to the number of the children of Israel EL.
    For the LORD’s (Yahweh's) portion is His people;
    Jacob is the place of His inheritance."

I fixed it so you can see where it was edited..And is further supported by:

Quote
"son of EL" as this Ugarit Canaanite text (KTU 1.1IV 14):

Source:
Quote
   The Israelites in history and tradition Niels Peter Lemche - 1998 - 246 "Maybe also the Ugaritic passage KTU 1.1:IV:14-15 should be included in the discussion: sm . bny . yw . ilt, translated by Mark S. Smith in Simon B. Parker, ed., Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997), 89 "of the son of god, Yahweh."

Hence translated as: "son of EL" as this Ugarit Canaanite text (KTU 1.1IV 14) shows: sm . bny . yw . ilt: "The name of the son of god, Yahweh."

 This is further supported in the Psalms:
Quote
   Psalm 82:1:

    "Ascribe to Yahweh, O sons of EL, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength."

    Psalm 89:6:

    "For who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh, who among the sons of EL is like Yahweh"

And supported here as well to where Yahweh stands in a council of GODs in Psalms:
Quote
   Psalm 82

    A psalm of Asaph.

    1God presides in the great assembly;

    he gives judgment among the “gods”:

    2“How long will you defend the unjust

    and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

    3Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;

    maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

    4Rescue the weak and needy;

    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    5“They know nothing, they understand nothing.

    They walk about in darkness;

    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    6“I said, ‘You are “gods”;

    you are all sons of the Most High.’

    7But you will die like mere men;

    you will fall like every other ruler.”

    8Rise up, O God, judge the earth,

    for all the nations are your inheritance.

You can also see the Threat Yahweh makes to the assembly of GOD's in Psalms to over throw the throne and be claimed King, and the GOD MOST HIGH. And this assembly of the GOD's can still be found in Genesis 1:26 below, and during Yam's and Ba'als conflict:
Quote
   26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them crule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

And just so you know.. Israel orginally had nothing to do with "Y