Belief Systems and discussions thereof

   #41  

Bruce

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So let us say again what is: In your estimation I am not a critical thinker. Another put down by Don. Thank you. I need my morning dose of humbling. You are very good at reminding me that I am not all that....

Mathew, Mark and John recorded Jesus words. They were with him all 3 years he preached and teached. Luke was a physician and historian who interviewed many who were with Christ. He wrote his gospel based on what he learned from others. Sounds like he might have been one of the first news reporters - no?

You are correct that Christ himself did not take the time to pen his own words. Perhaps his life was far too short? I will not presume to know what the God/man should or should not have done. I am not he and I cannot truly know the mind of God. My hope is that I might understand more of His mind.

The Bible as we know it was assembled by the scholars of the time around 300 AD. They considered the writings that existed telling of God. They made decisions about which writings would be included in the book. So your point is well taken. The scholars put together a book to influence people.

Don, I am not going to try to convince you of anything. Your mind is set. You have the answers you need.
 
   #42  

Jack@European_Parts

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I believe something may possibly exist, just not trusting what is in some book & by a group of pontiffs in custody of or by man to manipulate and no different than Science versus Pseudoscience.

I'm open minded to what I can verify, blind faith is no longer an option.

Do you trust news agencies or reporters now, Bruce?
 
   #43  

Bruce

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No, Jack. Reporters and News agencies have been proven to write with heavy bias. They are writing their own story. I get your point that the recording by Luke's gospel could be his bias...
 
   #44  

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I am dumbfounded.......
What is not still being said?
I believe from personal experience this is not over or the limit of what is to be exposed!
 
   #45  

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   #46  

DV52

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So let us say again what is: In your estimation I am not a critical thinker. Another put down by Don. Thank you. I need my morning dose of humbling. You are very good at reminding me that I am not all that....
@Bruce :"Another put-down by Don.......I need my morning dose of humbling"? I'm mortified @ the suggestion!!! I would never demean your beliefs in such a cavalier manner.

As I have said in another place, the position of an agnostic is no more provable than the belief of a religious person.

If you read my response again, in no way did I suggest that you are not a critical thinker; in fact I deliberately structured my response so it was all about me!

I have absolutely no doubt that you must have gone through the exact same processes that I described (for me) during your youth - assuming that you were introduced to your religion as part of your early schooling. And I readily accept that at the age-of-reason, your abilities to examine your religious tenets against your new-found powers for critical thinking were as equally adroit as mine (in fact, I'm prepared to accept that your powers were far better than mine).

I understand that having made the same analysis, your conclusion was different to mine. So what? In no way does this imply that your outcome was the result of a deficiency in critical thinking. For me to make such an assertion would put me on the same pedestal as a religious zealot - a place that I would find abhorrent!!

Put simply, we have both looked at the same issues through different prisms and we have reached different conclusions. My conclusion works for me and your conclusion works for you. As to who's conclusion is correct - alas, we must both participate in a one-time only event to discover the answer to that question !!

Don, I am not going to try to convince you of anything. Your mind is set. You have the answers you need.
@Bruce:hmm......... allow me to respond to this matter from my perspective - please.

With the greatest respect, it is not my intention to convince you to abandon your faith. I have foibles a plenty, but I'm not a sufficient imbecile to attempt such a task in Uwe's Bar!
Plus, even if wanted to do this - I don't believe that your faith is so flimsy that I could change your religious convictions, which clearly are strong!

And more importantly, I don't want to change your beliefs - if for no other reason than I sense that your religion defines who you are as an individual.... and although we have not met, you seem to be an alright kind-of guy as you are!! If you ever lost your religion (and I hope that you don't), I suspect that a vital part of Bruce would also be forfeited- not a good result IMHO!

So please let's agree that our respective minds "are set" equally and lets enjoy the exchange of views which most assuredly, is written without rancor from my end!
 
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   #47  

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Pope at Mass on World Day of Poor: ‘The poor guarantee us eternal income’
Jack: Frank's words in your link are largely OK (except the bit about spending a life in prayer) because they are stratospheric statements about philosophical truths - stuff that believers and non believers alike can agree. However, I would have liked to have heard more about how the resources of the Vatican Bank would be galvanized to meet the Pope's sentiments.

But alas, I guess that its important on "World Day of Poor" to remain on message. My personal view is that no one church, or any church for that matter, has the IP rights to philosophical truths - notwithstanding that they are often used to legitimize the authority of these institutions!!

Don
PS: I was once taught that the Pope was inflammable (hmm.... I might have gotten that wrong)!
 
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I am dumbfounded.......
What is not still being said?
I believe from personal experience this is not over or the limit of what is to be exposed!
Jack: From you link
In general, what are the lessons learned from the report? How does it contribute to creating a safe environment within the Church?
  • A first lesson is that the clerical culture must not be allowed to become self-referential and self-protective. The priesthood is not a privileged club, but a brotherhood whose sole purpose is to serve the people of God.
  • A second and related lesson is that lay people must be involved at all levels in the process of assessing the legitimacy of allegations of clerical misconduct.
  • A third lesson is that serious investigations of complaints must be undertaken.
I hope that the report didn't spend lots of time and money to reach these particular self-evident truths!!

Don
 
   #50  

DV52

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Mathew, Mark and John recorded Jesus words. They were with him all 3 years he preached and teached. Luke was a physician and historian who interviewed many who were with Christ. He wrote his gospel based on what he learned from others. Sounds like he might have been one of the first news reporters - no?

You are correct that Christ himself did not take the time to pen his own words. Perhaps his life was far too short? I will not presume to know what the God/man should or should not have done. I am not he and I cannot truly know the mind of God. My hope is that I might understand more of His mind.

The Bible as we know it was assembled by the scholars of the time around 300 AD. They considered the writings that existed telling of God. They made decisions about which writings would be included in the book. So your point is well taken. The scholars put together a book to influence people.
@Bruce : I've separated the above bit of your reply because it deals directly with the matters under discussion.

My response to your points is captured more succinctly and with far greater eloquence in the following extract by my go-to Bible scholar Bart Ehrman (originally posted here):
......the Gospels are filled with discrepancies large and small. Why are there so many differences among the four Gospels? These books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because they were traditionally thought to have been written by Matthew, a disciple who was a tax collector; John, the "Beloved Disciple" mentioned in the Fourth Gospel; Mark, the secretary of the disciple Peter; and Luke, the traveling companion of Paul. These traditions can be traced back to about a century after the books were written.

But if Matthew and John were both written by earthly disciples of Jesus, why are they so very different, on all sorts of levels? Why do they contain so many contradictions? Why do they have such fundamentally different views of who Jesus was? In Matthew, Jesus comes into being when he is conceived, or born, of a virgin; in John, Jesus is the incarnate Word of God who was with God in the beginning and through whom the universe was made. In Matthew, there is not a word about Jesus being God; in John, that's precisely who he is. In Matthew, Jesus teaches about the coming kingdom of God and almost never about himself (and never that he is divine); in John, Jesus teaches almost exclusively about himself, especially his divinity. In Matthew, Jesus refuses to perform miracles in order to prove his identity; in John, that is practically the only reason he does miracles.

Did two of the earthly followers of Jesus really have such radically different understandings of who he was? It is possible. Two people who served in the administration of George W. Bush may well have radically different views about him (although I doubt anyone would call him divine). This raises an important methodological point that I want to stress before discussing the evidence for the authorship of the Gospels.

Why did the tradition eventually arise that these books were written by apostles and companions of the apostles? In part it was in order to assure readers that they were written by eyewitnesses and companions of eyewitnesses. An eyewitness could be trusted to relate the truth of what actually happened in Jesus' life. But the reality is that eyewitnesses cannot be trusted to give historically accurate accounts. They never could be trusted and can't be trusted still. If eyewitnesses always gave historically accurate accounts, we would have no need for law courts. If we needed to find out what actually happened when a crime was committed, we could just ask someone. Real-life legal cases require multiple eyewitnesses, because eyewitnesses' testimonies differ. If two eyewitnesses in a court of law were to differ as much as Matthew and John, imagine how hard it would be to reach a judgment.

A further reality is that all the Gospels were written anonymously, and none of the writers claims to be an eyewitness. Names are attached to the titles of the Gospels ("the Gospel according to Matthew"), but these titles are later additions to the Gospels, provided by editors and scribes to inform readers who the editors thought were the authorities behind the different versions. That the titles are not original to the Gospels themselves should be clear upon some simple reflection. Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it "The Gospel according to Matthew." The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it. Authors never title their books "according to."

Moreover, Matthew's Gospel is written completely in the third person, about what "they" — Jesus and the disciples — were doing, never about what "we" — Jesus and the rest of us — were doing. Even when this Gospel narrates the event of Matthew being called to become a disciple, it talks about "him," not about "me." Read the account for yourself (Matthew 9:9). There's not a thing in it that would make you suspect the author is talking about himself.

With John it is even more clear. At the end of the Gospel the author says of the "Beloved Disciple": "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true" (John 21:24). Note how the author differentiates between his source of information, "the disciple who testifies," and himself: "we know that his testimony is true." He/we: this author is not the disciple. He claims to have gotten some of his information from the disciple.

As for the other Gospels, Mark was said to be not a disciple but a companion of Peter, and Luke was a companion of Paul, who also was not a disciple. Even if they had been disciples, it would not guarantee the objectivity or truthfulness of their stories. But in fact none of the writers was an eyewitness, and none of them claims to be.
...........and we haven't even started to discuss the notion of the Bible as the word of God and the treatment of the eight books of the Apocrypha in the Old Testament and what I understand to be the similarly treated candidate works in the New Testament (i.e. the Gospels of Peter, Egerton and Thomas)

Don
 
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   #52  

Bruce

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So based on Ehrman's work, the entire content of the Bible concerning Christ is circumspect. A question to consider: why then did so many hear the reported words of Christ, believe and then believe even when they knew the price of belief was death at the hands of the Roman government? Why would intelligent people embrace something that was false and with such high risk? Why risk their lives for the false representations?

Ehrman has many critics. I have not read enough of what he has to say to be able to discuss his views critically. Here is a just a sample which far more eloquently speaks to Ehrman's points:
APOLOGETICS: BIBLICAL ACCURACY
"Misquoting" Jesus? Answering Bart Ehrman
Greg Koukl
Stand to Reason
https://www.cbn.com/special/apologetics/articles/koukl_misquoting_jesus_bart_ehrman.aspx


For every argument that will be made for agnosticism, an equal argument can be made for belief and faith in God.
------------------

Again, we each have our beliefs. Simply put, there are at least two sides. We are not here in this thread to argue the merits of one over the other. We are here to help those who are asking questions and we are free to share our view in response to those questions.

I am not going to argue further. Label me as you will, I do not care. The arguments have been made by those with far more knowledge and skill than I possess and I believe they will continue to argue their points for a long time. The differences will not be resolved.

Let's help those who have questions by allowing each other the freedom to state our views without all the challenges. Why? When you and I argue our differences, others will be turned away. Rather, if we just state our view in answer to a question, the person questioning can consider both and perhaps other views as they work to find the answer that resonates for them.

By the way, did you know that Princeton Theological Seminary is not very far from my home? My daughter is a Presbyterian pastor with an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Someday she hopes to go back and earn her PHD. I have been on campus many times. I have worshiped with their professors. I participated in their worship services as a choir member. I have spent time in their World class library which some claim to be second only to the library at the Vatican. During my times and my daughter's time there, I found those I spoke with to believe in the inspired word of God and further they all had strong belief that there is a God and that Christ was who he claimed. I have been tutored by 9 or 10 pastors trained at Princeton Theological Seminary over my years. Several of them have PHD credentials equal to Ehrman's and some even teach at local Christian Colleges/Universities as adjuncts. As none I have met who teach or were trained went the route of Bart Ehrman, I wonder what changed Ehrman? What event in his life led him to change so? Its curious.
 
   #53  

Jack@European_Parts

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Even in existing recent current time now, cults had people follow one to their deaths.

Example : Jim Jones

"Come to the pavilion people, there is not much time"


Never under estimate the power of a salesman or a we'll ran subliminal programmed marketing campaign or flat out well placed lies or lies repeated till thought true.

Example : Adolph Hitler
 
   #54  

Bruce

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Hard for me to accept that Christianity is a cult Jack. Hard also to believe that so many over time were "sold" a subliminal message that caused them to face horrendous persecution - where it was not their choice to die - but death was mandated by those who feared the believers.

Curious too: why didn't the Jews give up their beliefs and abandon God as they were being annihilated by the Nazi? Why did they hold to their belief?
What about the Muslims who were persecuted? Need I mention the Crusades or again the Nazi? Hindus, Budhists, Atheists and Agnostics have all faced persecution by others.
Why do these people with faith and belief in a system hold to it in the face of imminent death? If all the writings and teachings of the world religions are "sales" pitches, is it really logical that so many are deceived by such?
 
   #55  

Jack@European_Parts

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I'm not saying there are not good things in the Bible or among many different religions, what I am saying is see what happens also when things are twisted by man, an evangelist ( a salesman ) a reporter etc. and indeed there are some ideas twisted.

This was why I liked reading or watching books on where ideas are borrowed from or where words come from.

Indeed often too much, it doesn't take much to make people & like sheep, to follow the herd immunity or politicized agenda's!

Just look at health agendas raised by the Jews and Muslims about dairy or pork products in customs & before refrigeration or the understanding of salts.

Is stoning someone to death a fair idea?
 
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I am not going to argue further.
@Bruce: Please don't interpret this as another Don "put-down" - but in my many years on this fragile planet, I have sometimes encountered what's known in negotiation parlance as the "walk away position"; it's a position that can only be used once - because it's final!

Whilst I'm disappointed, it's entirely your right to adopt this stance.

This is a forum thread of your making -so message accepted

Don
 
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   #57  

Jack@European_Parts

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Example: Jesus said die!

  • In Matthew 15:4 Jesus says "He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die".
 
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Bruce

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The complete text is: " 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b]

Jesus was speaking of the 10 commandments which God gave to Moses. One of those was to Honor your father and your mother.

In full context of the conversation with the Pharisees:

" 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[c]”
 
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