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Jesus, Interrupted

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Essorant
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0 posted 05-19-2009 02:49 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Jesus, Interrupted

Worth reading?


serenity blaze
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1 posted 05-19-2009 05:42 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Why not?

I'd give it a go.
Essorant
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2 posted 05-20-2009 01:37 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

When it comes to books about Christ and the bible I have difficulty knowing what "authorities" to trust.  

Bob K
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     Be willing to make mistakes?  Change your mind a lot?  Go off on tangents when you get interested in side issues?

     When you figure out what this guy is saying, mull it over and look for somebody who disagrees with him entirely and who writes well, then check that out.  Look really really stupid until you start to get some sense of what the whole field has to say, then look for people who disagree with the whole field.

     Karen Armstrong seems to be a pretty decent author who's written on a lot of monotheistic topics and seems well thought of in general.  I believe she's a former nun...

     Check out her bibliographies for people she quotes with approval or disapproval and follow up that way.  Stay with what fascinates you.

     Any of these suggestions may be useful either as a way of following up or of reacting against or of suggesting some sort of other course.  I've often found that people find me very useful to ignore.  I can recommend that, since I do it a lot myself, especially with advice that I think foolishly is in my best interest.  Why should I expect others to do what I can't, after all?

     I trust this may be somewhat entertaining if not distantly useful.  That's how it's meant to be.  Good luck!

All my best, Bob Kaven
serenity blaze
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4 posted 05-20-2009 02:46 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

When it comes to an authority, I do believe that is where faith might come in?

just a little bit?

I'm nodding though. My son's an atheist, my daughter is agnostic, my hubbies catholic, and I embrace everything.

My son believes that religion hampers the growth of the mind.

I understand that.

I mean, they all ask you to stop asking questions, so yeah...I can see how a mind trained to scientific theory would discard a principle that dictates that you must suspend your disbelief.

My daughter is agnostic.


I think that means she is confused.

I don't know. Ask her.

My husband is Catholic--he finds a soft free-flowing river in his confessions, and I do not doubt his belief in the Eucharist.

And I am a mixture--I wince as I type that I might be forgiven my sins via "confession" and worse--that I had so much money, I could BUY my way past purgatory, as an indulgence, with a number and six zeroes behind that?

I don't think I could do that.

But don't waterboard me. I might.
Stephanos
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5 posted 05-20-2009 11:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I mean, they all ask you to stop asking questions, so yeah...I can see how a mind trained to scientific theory would discard a principle that dictates that you must suspend your disbelief.


they all?    

I'd say that atheism too requires much of what may be called "suspension of disbelief".  Wouldn't one have to think it all just happened by chance; that all appearance of purpose, grandeur and artistry in nature (and ultimately ourselves) are just tragic mirages?

Anyway, I don't think the Christian faith need be about an end to questioning.  The scriptures are full of question marks and so is my own mind.  Those who turn it into "shut up and make believe" have missed the richness of Biblical faith.  Though, certainly particular forms of "faith" seem to embrace complete fideism.  And this has been a turn-off to many.

But even the empiricism assumed by science was never derived empirically, but was and is taken as first principle, on faith.  I think we've discussed that before though.

...

Oh yeah, I guess I'd better check out the link.    


Stephen      
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6 posted 05-20-2009 11:41 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

I'd say that atheism too requires much of what may be called "suspension of disbelief".  Wouldn't one have to think it all just happened by chance; that all appearance of purpose, grandeur and artistry in nature (and ultimately ourselves) are just tragic mirages?



I'm not sure that's the argument to be made against atheism Stephen.  It seems to me the more cogent one is not that it requires a suspension of disbelief -- but rather a belief in something one can't know -- which is familiarly like its' opposite.

Still -- in belief -- if you say the universe didn't happen by chance -- then you still can't answer the question -- from whence God?

If agnosticism is confusion -- then it is the honest confusion of humanity.  If faith is belief in something not knowable then it is useless without doubt.  If doubt -- then agnosticism.  Faith then merely is a specific hope.  Excepting in the case of a temporal lobe malfunction.
Stephanos
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7 posted 05-20-2009 11:52 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

Okay, believe it or not, I've read much in the way of skeptics.  And, believe it or not, I'm not inclined to castigate (though I would not be slow to try and answer).  I would, however, recommend the safeguard of reading the works of those skeptical of skeptics.  I can actually respect the kind of skepticism that doesn't fail to be skeptical of itself when the need arises.  Dogma is dogma, no matter which side of the fence your dog happens to sit.     

I offer a couple of titles for the balance ...

http://www.amazon.com/New-International-Encyclopedia-Bible-Difficulties/dp /0310241464/ref=pd_sim_b_7

http://www.amazon.com/Reason-God-Belief-Age-Skepticism/dp/0525950494


Stephen
Stephanos
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8 posted 05-21-2009 12:17 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Reb:
quote:
Still -- in belief -- if you say the universe didn't happen by chance -- then you still can't answer the question -- from whence God?


Based upon Christian Theology, is there a need to say from "whence God?"  Only when you equate God with a caused thing rather than the personal and transcendent source of all things (including space-time) would you find such a need.  

I know what you're getting at ... and of course I don't deny mystery here, and some things (notice I said some Karen) that simply go beyond proofs and questions.  But my point was, that if a person is to believe that chance may produce a fine-tuned universe, a life-sustaining planet, rational beings like ourselves who can ask questions about the whole-show, then there is just as much an element of "faith" that also goes beyond the empirical ... a religious-like commitment to a certain world-view.  And one must finally ask whether an intelligence, or something as unthinking and undirected as chance is more likely to be the source of what we see, and who we are.  

quote:
If agnosticism is confusion -- then it is the honest confusion of humanity.  If faith is belief in something not knowable then it is useless without doubt.  If doubt -- then agnosticism.  Faith then merely is a specific hope.  Excepting in the case of a temporal lobe malfunction.


Reb, I'm glad you cleared all that up.    


From an orthodox perspective, faith is a belief in something (someone) who is knowable, even if not comprehensively so.  "A glass darkly" never meant to lack the glass altogether.

Stephen    
Bob K
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Dear Stephen,

quote:


But even the empiricism assumed by science was never derived empirically, but was and is taken as first principle, on faith.  I think we've discussed that before though.




     I'm unclear about what you mean by this.

     Most intellectual and philosophical systems start someplace.  Most religions presuppose a God, and then reason backward and forward from that point.  You have to start someplace, simply because the vast number of possibilities won't allow you to begin a discussion unless you do.  Most systems have their weaknesses at this point, or at least a weakness.

     The point of discussion you bring up about the order and vastness and structure of the universe being impossible to imagine without a God is undercut simply by saying," Nah, I can imagine it fine."  This is an ill-spirited response to a noble question, but a valid one.  The response to my mind is simply, you need to start someplace, and to presuppose a benevolent God is as fine a starting place as any and certainly better than most.  

     An ability to ground oneself in faith is another great starting place.

     I know that you like to believe that God is reason and reasonably explicable; it's simply one of the places where we differ.

     I also believe that it's perfectly reasonable to say that as a starting point we will allow only evidence that is empirically valid.  This too is a decent starting place, though a different one from a theological starting place.  There is no reason for it to be empirically derived, that I can see, as long as it produces information that can be confirmed by empirical means.

     In fact, such a derivation might make the information somewhat suspect, at least potentially.

     This is in fact what believers must face when they say that their faith in God is confirmed by the word of God.  There is a matter of tautology that might confuse the matter.

     If these are points that are chosen with somewhat explicit presuppositions, like systems of mathematics, this possible problem is sidestepped.

     My thoughts at the moment at least.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Stephanos
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10 posted 05-21-2009 01:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob:
quote:
I'm unclear about what you mean by this.


What I mean is that even the presuppositions which undergird science, are first principles, and not empirically derived whatsoever ... and so involve a faith dimension.  David Hume should be a good reminder of this if you recall ... He tried to subject his own acceptance of science to the rigors of empiricism and became a complete skeptic, even of his own existence I believe.  I'm not saying this "faith" element is wrong.  I'm saying it is right, but it is not admitted in certain circles where religion is starkly contrasted with science.  Whatever we believe respectively, I think we've gone through this before, and we both agree that faith and science are not enemies, even if they're not exactly honeymooners.    

quote:
  The point of discussion you bring up about the order and vastness and structure of the universe being impossible to imagine without a God is undercut simply by saying," Nah, I can imagine it fine.


And if it is a question of sheer imagination, then you're quite right.  And many people do say just that.  I've got a friend who pretty much told me that in a way the argument from design is compelling, but he just isn't interested right now.  That's human nature.

quote:
I also believe that it's perfectly reasonable to say that as a starting point we will allow only evidence that is empirically valid ... There is no reason for it to be empirically derived, that I can see, as long as it produces information that can be confirmed by empirical means.


The only problem here I see, is that there is no empirical evidence for the belief that we should "allow only evidence that is empirically valid".  Unless of course you mean something different by "empirically valid" than quantifiable reproducible evidence.  We believe a whole host of things in life which cannot be pinned on empiricism, and yet neither are they "un-empirical".  Historical method, for example, is something that quite differs from scientific method, in that it is never reproducible and involves much "inference to the best explanation".    
  
quote:
This is in fact what believers must face when they say that their faith in God is confirmed by the word of God.  There is a matter of tautology that might confuse the matter.


If by "word of God", you mean scripture, then this is only a problem if there were no other confirmation.  There are multiple confirmations of faith that touch and converge.  There is God's word, and also God's world.  

But as I said, pointing out a certain circularity (as you've done) is not a problem unless it is outright denied.  I would rather ask with Gilbert Keith, who noted that a bullet was not the world no matter how round, which is the right circle ... rather than complaining about the shape.  Precommitment and presupposition is unavoidable, and part of human nature I think.


Too tired to say any more for now,


Stephen  
Essorant
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11 posted 05-21-2009 01:18 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
Look really really stupid until you start to get some sense of what the whole field has to say


Well, that won't be hard for me, Bob.  It comes naturally  


Thanks for the recommendations Stephanos.  

Good to see you back.

  
Stephanos
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12 posted 05-21-2009 01:21 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

One last thing (and then I'm asleep, really) ...

The discussion has been taken into "presuppositional apologetics" somewhat, but Essorant's featured book deals with the evidentiary, historical, and exegetical.  It would be interesting to me to see any of the "hidden" contradictions discussed.  I seriously doubt after so long of a history there are "hidden" contradictions of the Bible ... But I would still like to explore whether the said contradictions are of the more simplistic kind like "faith versus works" or "Jesus versus Paul" or whether there is more substance to it.  


(Good to see you too Ess.  I've been lurking about, just busy ya know?)

Stephen
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13 posted 05-21-2009 02:40 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Based upon Christian Theology, is there a need to say from "whence God?"  Only when you equate God with a caused thing rather than the personal and transcendent source of all things (including space-time) would you find such a need.  



It's precisely because you're invested in a particular Christian Theology Stephen, that you have a specific need to NOT ask "whence God?"  If I ask the Mormon missionaries the next time I see them that question I suspect they will have an answer to that question -- but of course -- without an answer to the obligatory question -- "and the God before him?"

quote:

But my point was, that if a person is to believe that chance may produce a fine-tuned universe, a life-sustaining planet, rational beings like ourselves who can ask questions about the whole-show, then there is just as much an element of "faith" that also goes beyond the empirical ... a religious-like commitment to a certain world-view.  And one must finally ask whether an intelligence, or something as unthinking and undirected as chance is more likely to be the source of what we see, and who we are.  



Not so fast my friend.  We've discussed this point too much at length in the past for you to be approaching it so axiomatically.  Complexity is demonstrably able to emerge from simplicity.  Let's go back to this thread http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000395-4.html#79  and review a bit?

Wolfram's automatons very clearly illustrated complex organization (or the appearance) from base simplicity.  We get a lot of complexity from the digits 0 through 9 -- taken at random enough times -- patterns begin to emerge.

Now -- going back to your statement on causality -- I needn't be caught up in the local effects and causes to understand that what I don't understand isn't understandable.  Understand?

As a man of faith you hope for God and say we can't understand him.

As an agnostic -- I just say -- we can't understand God.  But I hope we will one day understand dark matter, dark energy, gravity, strong forces, weak forces, and Republicans and Democrats.
Stephanos
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14 posted 05-21-2009 11:14 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Reb:
quote:
It's precisely because you're invested in a particular Christian Theology Stephen, that you have a specific need to NOT ask "whence God?"


Right.   And atheism is a kind of investment as well that would lead someone to accept chance as the source of the universe.  That was my point.  "Faith" so to speak (the commitment and acceptance of something that cannot be proven empirically) seems to be intractable to the human mind.  

I don't mind reviewing Reb.  But as I said then, Wolfram only demonstrates a complexity of mathematics embedded in a nature that already exists, and as mediated through the human mind ... He doesn't at all demonstrate that something could come from nothing, or that sheer chance gives rise to complexity and life.  You have to remember, it is still a valid question of how algorithmic comlexity (inherent in mathematics) got there to begin with.  Before creation you don't just get "numbers" to play around with;  Remember the joke where God says "Get you're own dirt"?     And isn't it a bit of sophistry to suggest that the simple digits 0-9 give rise to all the complexity of mathematics, when they are merely a part of a whole mathematical system to begin with?      

quote:
As a man of faith you hope for God and say we can't understand him.


I say that in some ways we can't understand him.  Just as in some ways you can never understand me, or even someone close to you.  But there are many ways we can understand God.  An agnostic really says no one can know God (to any degree I presume).  And yet that very statement entails universally applicable knowledge about the nature of God himself (ie, he is unknowable).  Hard agnosticism fails on its own terms.  If you'd rather say it is really atheism in disguise, I'd be more inclined to agree.  For then it is merely "I myself don't believe in God", rather than a meta-statement about the nature of God, and the allegedly gullible human beings who believe.

later,

Stephen
Bob K
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Dear Stephen,

          Agnosticism is at its base an admission of the inability to know of the existence of God.  It's saying I don't have the information or the faith to make that leap or decision.  

     It is not the tautology you describe above, because, as you so cogently point out, that would mean an a priori acknowledgement of God's existence.  Agnostics, in whose number I currently count myself, as a rule don't seem to have that much information that they feel comfortable in making such an assertion.  You will, of course, find some who do, just as you will find Jews for Jesus.  But philosophically it would be a difficult position to justify.  It doesn't play by the linguistic rules of the philosophy game.

     There is perhaps a similar problem with atheists.

     But one must wonder to what extent these folks have had the chance to name themselves, and to what extent they may have been named by others who had unkind feelings toward them.  These are at any rate the names that have come down to us.  Skeptics have been trying to figure out what to call themselves for years now, without much luck, since being a skeptic and having a skeptical attitude should not be tied to thought about religion, but may usefully be applied to, say, politics as well, and matters of budget, and the gathering of data in general.

     Being skeptical out to be a decent thing, not something seen as an assault on religion or on God; but there you have it, another word bent out of shape, and people don't know how to bend it back.

     With your response to my post, I am almost entirely in agreement.

quote:


But even the empiricism assumed by science was never derived empirically, but was and is taken as first principle, on faith.  I think we've discussed that before though.




     I believe we have discussed this before.  I believe I'm trying to make a different point here.  I'm drawing an analogy  between the various types of mathematics and the various types of philosophical systems.  I am saying that each starts out with a set of givens or presuppositions upon which the system is built, and that the system derives from those presuppositions.  In Geometry, Euclid designed a system that meant that parallel lines never met.  That was a supposition, even a theorem of the system.  In Riemann's Geometry, parallel lines do meet.  There are also base ten mathematics and base two mathematics.  

     None of these things are wrong, they are simply different ways of looking at the same set of information.  They start from different presuppositions and are often used for different things.  How people arrive at the presuppositions doesn't particularly matter, as long as they describe actual data of one sort or another, and bring some order to it that others can understand and duplicate and use.

     This is why it is not necessary for empiricism to be empirically derived.  It is necessary for it only to be usefully formulated, to supply useful and reproducible data that others can understand and duplicate and use.  In the case of empiricism, it has an added advantage of helping to build a view of the world that makes the world more understandable.

     Its limitation is that nobody has thought to do research on matters of the soul and spirit, and that many who do empirical research — not believing in these concepts — tend to be hostile to the concept of such research.  It's certainly a potential career killer.  And the more religious folks are ambivalent about such research anyway.  For all sorts of reasons both rational and not.

     Anyway, this is probably more of a response than you were looking for, but here it is anyway.

My best to you and your family,

Bob Kaven


    
Essorant
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16 posted 05-23-2009 12:41 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Science is witty.  Religion is giddy.
sandgrain
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17 posted 05-23-2009 04:06 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

As I read your request for an authority on what's best to read, it reminded me of my search some years ago.  Raised, luke warm,  in one denomination, I found life didn't match up with the teachings I was getting.  A gals apartment burned and we took her in with her 4 children.  That's when I SAW faith at work.  She helped me more than I could've ever helped her.  Her faith was so solid and genuine, it almost blew my mind.  I began to listen to Christian radio, read, read, read about different beliefs, etc.  At some points, I'd feel I'd just found the answer, only to realize tomorrow it was proven a sham.  The search was like an unquenchable thirst, until I came to a place of comfort where everything seemed to click to make sense.

I'm not sorry for anything I read or listened to in my quest as it's my belief, I'd never have found the peace of mind I now have without them.  Perhaps there are shorter ways to arrive at this point, but the route I took satified my needs.

I found a book I just finished, is railed against by some, but I knew it was fiction before I read it, and I enjoyed it as such.  There are so many different views and unless one is extremely wishy washy, wanting to please someone other than God or find truth, they'll sort it out.

Sometimes I prayed a lot while at others, I merely consumed works of authors, speaches, etc., while reflecting on the faith in action I'd witnessed.

To me, it's like someone giving us numbers and number facts...add and subtract, multiply and divide.  If they don't produce results that make sense, it's hard to believe they really know what they speak of.

God bless,

  Rae
Stephanos
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18 posted 05-23-2009 08:45 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Best authority?  Get and read a contemporary translation of the Bible itself (NIV, NRSV, HCSB).  There's no better authority on Jesus than the authors of the Gospels.  The (not-at-all-new) theories which say that the New Testament came out of a political power-play aren't historically substantial when examined.  And they hardly make sense since these early writings themselves reflect a situation in which power and influence were suspect, offered an authority and standard by which even the state could be judged, and frowned upon oppression of the poor and marginalized of society.  Yes, I know that religion has sometimes veered from this vision ... but its hard to take seriously the view that the then-in-power have initially desired these texts over others in order to cinch political supremacy.  Much more likely is the traditional view that the Governers consulted Church leaders to settle a dispute which threatened to disrupt the empire and cause unrest ... neither an inherently noble or ignoble motive, maybe somewhat religiously indifferent.  These issues at the Council of Nicea had to do with a theological controversy or two.  The formal canonization of the Bible was a side issue that amounted to a formalization of what was already accepted among the majority of the Christian Church (Lists had previously been made before there was any worldly power to play).  It sounds a bit democratic (and partly it was), but things like authorship and what would today be called "higher textual criticism" were applied.

I guess what I'm saying is that even the "experts" need to be read critically.  And the best way to do that is to read the Bible for yourself and to question whatever else has been written about it.  There's something good (though I understand that this creates its own set of problems) in the protestant principle of the "common man" reading for himself.

Stephen      
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19 posted 05-23-2009 09:34 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Science doesn’t start with an immutable presuppositions Stephen, it starts with a hypothesis, which is tested and retested then accepted or rejected. Only religion insists on doggedly clinging to a presupposition.

We know that the universe exists.

It may have always existed or it might just have popped into existence at some point in the dim and distant past without any intelligent input. Alternatively it could have been created.

Religion disallows two of the above possibilities based on the presupposition that god exists.

Science allows all three possibilities without presuppositions and weighs the evidence for and against each. Based on the resultant evidence it selects the most likely answer. Right now that answer seems to be that the universe popped into existence all by itself with a rather large bang. Personally I think the universe always existed, and fortunately there’s a chance that the scientific community, due to the constant reassessment of available data, might come around to my way of thinking. Equally though they may, given tangible evidence, jut as easily decide that a god did after all create the whole shebang.

quote:
Get and read a contemporary translation of the Bible.. There's no better authority on Jesus than the authors of the Gospels.


Contemporary to what? And what would that prove in any case - even if you could find a bible written in 1AD it doesn’t prove that what’s in it bears any relation to fact. There’s always the possibility that huge swaths of it is pure fiction.

.
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20 posted 05-23-2009 09:37 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Um, I never meant to imply that my daughter's agnosticism defined the terminology.

She's eighteen. She's confused about a lot of stuff.

And oh, I winced, Stephan--nothing personal, but I just have a prejudice toward those "modern language" bibles--although, I'm curious to see if there's one written in ebonics.

grin

I'm gonna google.

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21 posted 05-23-2009 09:40 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

The hunch of the witch was correct.

The Ebonibible.

sigh

I'm waiting for Essorant to groan, as we can use a nice northernly breeze. *chuckle*

Karen hearts Essorant.
Stephanos
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22 posted 05-23-2009 11:37 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

karen
quote:
And oh, I winced, Stephan--nothing personal, but I just have a prejudice toward those "modern language" bibles


That's interesting coming from someone who "embraces everything".  

On my part, it's just a practical consideration that languages, in fact, get old.  Most of the folks insisting on the exclusive use of the King James 1611 don't even use the 1611 version which is virtually unreadable to modern people (except maybe for Essorant).  (I've got a facsimile replica of the 1611 which is very cool to look at!) For the most part they read a version several revisions after (1769 Blayney edition, I believe).  

As for the KJV itself, I think its a perfectly fine translation, for those for whom it works.  And in many ways it is unparalleled in its lofty literary style.  But I honestly can't read it for long if I'm trying to understand content.  The English language has changed quite a bit since those days.  The New King James Version is a good choice for those who still want the diction of the King James, but need the update dropping some withers thithers and hithers.  

I don't mean disrespect.  I guess I'm a pragmatist not a dogmatist when it comes to those issues.  Though If I were to be dogmatic, I'd have to go all the way and insist on the Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts ... (or at least on the Septuagint which is the Bible Jesus quoted).  But that doctrine wouldn't win many converts these days, 'specially round these here parts.  


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-24-2009 12:44 AM).]

Stephanos
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23 posted 05-24-2009 12:41 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Science doesn’t start with an immutable presuppositions Stephen, it starts with a hypothesis, which is tested and retested then accepted or rejected. Only religion insists on doggedly clinging to a presupposition.


I hope Ron joins in to help me inform you that you are mistaken here (at least I think he would agree that science is not axiom free), but I'll do the best I can.

Are you familiar with David Hume's "problem of induction?"  If you were, you would realize that the scientist assumes much in order to do science to begin with.  This prima facie acceptance of the rationality of science is not determined nor tested by scientific means.  This prima facie knowledge has much more in common with creed than with experimentation.  

John Lennox said it this way:

"However much we may debate the essence of the scientific method, there is no question as to the foundation on which that method rests:  the rational intelligibility of the universe.  It was Albert Einstein's astonishment at this that prompted him to make the famous comment, 'The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible'.

The very concept of the intelligibility of the universe presupposes the existence of a rationality capable of recognizing that intelligibility.  Indeed confidence that our human mental processes possess some degree of reliability and are capable of giving us some information about the world is fundamental to any kind of study, not only the study of science.  This conviction is so central to all thinking that we cannot even question its validity without assuming it in the first place, since we have to rely on our minds in order to do the questioning.  It is the bedrock belief upon which all intellectual inquiry is built.
" (from "God's Undertaker- Has Science Buried God?")

And Grinch, you may find these principles (upon which the scientific endeavor itself is built) to be too basic and elemental to question or quibble about. ... but isn't that the nature of a presupposition?  

quote:
We know that the universe exists.
  

Actually Grinch, unless you can tell me how we could ever know it didn't exist, then this too is accepted as axiomatic ... an assumption, albeit a darned good one.

quote:
It may have always existed


You don't believe the big bang happened?


quote:
Science allows all three possibilities without presuppositions and weighs the evidence for and against each. Based on the resultant evidence it selects the most likely answer. Right now that answer seems to be that the universe popped into existence all by itself with a rather large bang.


Has science shown (other than the big bang which was in the distant unrepeatable past) that ANY explosion happens "by itself"?  How is that scientific?  And what is the evidence?

That "by itself" part which you slipped in your statement has nothing to do with evidence or lack thereof, and is dictated by the presuppositional philosophy of methodological naturalism (or atheism) which you hold.  Still, without evidence, inference to the best explanation would tell us that it didn't happen by itself.  And still inference to the best explanation would tell us that an intelligible universe is a good fit for an intelligent Creator.  


And BTW, did you know that there were some atheists in the scientific community who didn't want to publicize Big Bang Cosmology because of its Theistic (at least in appearance) implications?  

quote:
Personally I think the universe always existed, and fortunately there’s a chance that the scientific community, due to the constant reassessment of available data, might come around to my way of thinking.


Do you have evidence for this belief, personal or otherwise?  Or is it sheer philosophy?  Could it be, as Alister McGrath pointed out, that once God is denied, something else is "transcendentalized"?

quote:
Me: Get and read a contemporary translation of the Bible.. There's no better authority on Jesus than the authors of the Gospels.

Grinch:  Contemporary to what? And what would that prove in any case - even if you could find a bible written in 1AD it doesn’t prove that what’s in it bears any relation to fact. There’s always the possibility that huge swaths of it is pure fiction.


Contemporary to ourselves.  I was talking about translations, not manuscripts.

But yes you're right, there's always the possibility that huge swaths of it is pure fiction, much in the same way it is possible that Socrates or Abraham Lincoln didn't really exist.  Possibility and Historical liklihood are two different things.  Would you like to discuss the historical veracity of the New Testament in particulars?


Stephen
serenity blaze
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24 posted 05-24-2009 02:31 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



Parlay?

Nice dodge of the issue, but Stephan, really, would you recommend an "ebonic" Bible?

Lovie, I know that you are a scholar and a gentleman, and I know you know OT is Hebrew, Aramaic, Sanskrit, Greek--is there more?

And yet you recommend an Anglo-Saxon English simplified version of "the word"?

I wish Essorant would show up about now.

I truly do.

Essorant is a stickler for origins of words--I'd love to hear what he'd have to say on this subject.

I happen to think that translations, suck.

Most especially when Hebrew is also, as I have pointed out many times, a numeric language, that some have considered a "code" in Hebrew Mysticism. (Note: I didn't say that I have accepted that theorem as such, I just said "some".)

But, oh my, it's so good to see you.
 
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