Theology thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Throatpunch, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    Except it's not. This is really simple.
    Religion makes grandiose claims about the nature of morality, the origin of the universe and so-and-so-forth. It is often used as the final say in all study of cosmology and ethics. If your religion was the leastwise true in the least of its convictions, it should be easy to prove. It wouldn't even be revolutionary or controversial unless God were a totally obscurantist dick.

    It is not. And so here we are.
    The problem isn't that atheists have 100% conviction that they are right. And few atheists would ever make that philosophical claim. And frankly, it's the religious man that has this weird fixation with absolutist epistemological certainty. They think ignorance is the same as a complete lack of any credibility. You think my inability to prove my claim in its fully totality is the same as you having equal credibility.

    Here is the thing. Even if we both agreed upon a definition of a god and you furnished proof that this god exists to my satisfaction, you run the risk of just having convinced me to go from being an atheist to a dystheist or maltheist. Much less a Christian.

    You are making a claim of knowledge. You are demanding that everybody act upon that claim. You're the one putting down something that requires YOU to establish credibility. Until that burden is met, everybody is in fully justified in not expending any energy restructuring their lives in accordance to your non-information. If what you claim directly contradicts experience, then it is on you to rectify those contradictions or explain them.

    I didn't bring up vampires and fairies just to debate the difficulty of proving a negative, I brought it up because I am saying that people have acted on baseless speculation before. I seriously am not joking. People have blocked logging in forest on account of pixies living there or staked corpses because they really did think that would stop the vampire from preying on them.

    And that is what all religion ever has amounted to: Superstition.
    The only difference in the smaller superstitions and this one larger one is in the stakes involved.

    Yeah well, there are/were Greeks perfectly willing to shift goal posts like Christians do.
    Either they'd say it was just a metaphor or you don't have the sixth sense. Something along those lines.
    Honestly, I don't really care for how Christians like to pretend they're better than any other religion just because they've had the collective imagination to make their God increasingly more nebulous and impossible to define.

    Sure I can. I know ghosts are about the most common superstition of them all.
    I considered its possibility, and decided that it could not be believed. There is no evidence of it. There is no reason to act upon any belief that they could exist. Otherwise exorcism would long ago have been monetized and dealing with ghosts would be a matter of technology. We'd have common agreement on what ghosts could do and would've built an industry on extracting information from them or otherwise somehow getting rid of them like pests.

    We don't do those things because they don't exist. If they do, they cannot be anything like popular imagination would have them be. They'd be so rare or locally conditional or so pathetically weak and hard to detect as to be just about the next best thing as non-existent. As in: Barely worth calling "ghosts" at all. Quite frankly, I think we want ghosts to exist. And yet for all the wanting, there is no solid proof of them anywhere.

    Oh maybe the planets just aren't in alignment in the 21st century. In which case, we'd suddenly have a problem that our culture and politics would need to adapt to, but those changes would be dramatic. But that is no better than speculation. Are we to stake our resources as a society that this might occur? Get an actuarian to weigh that against the Christian eschatology or the Nordic one and tell us what the best hedge.


    As to the rest of the post.

    You cite Orthodox church's definition of what prayer is supposed to do and then blanket claim all Christians act that way, where you just don't dismiss them out of hand as heretical.
    It has always been common practice to pray for things for personal gain. People do it all the time.

    And it makes logical sense to do so if you really think you've got a beneficent patron backing your team. Almost the entire point of miracles is that humanity is to benefit from it in some way and if it were true, it should be possible to do so almost as a matter of simple technology. That has always been the project of many alchemists and natural philosophers. Faith healers today expect the same. The entire Jesus story was about him dispensing miracles just to prove what a cool guy he was and why you should be batting for his God.

    That is besides the point. Since the original claim was that prayer does nothing.
    So even if we both agreed that prayer is just generically about communion with God and being made a better person, with any expectation of material benefit (nevermind that this is the aim of theurgy), the original guy you were responding to literally said that prayer does nothing at all.

    Giving us your narrow-minded canon on the matter doesn't impress us.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
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  2. Vergil

    Vergil Banned

    Jul 8, 2014
    This is the biggest cop out I've ever read. Yea "I didn't actually read your post", that's why I went through it piece by piece and posted relevant rebuttals. You want to claim I didn't read or understand your post but you've cut out and hand waved almost my entire post. I will continue to take you seriously and give you the respect of a proper response when you stop trying to "weasel your way out of" responding to all of my points instead of cherry picking, repeating your same points I've already talked on in my post and then saying "I'm done ;^)". I'm tired of writing paragraphs under the assumption that you'd actually bother to reply with anything substantial.
  3. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    Revised. See above.


    I already said you were textually wrong about how Jesus said to ignore the OT. Frankly, I'm tired of you pretending to more about your religion when I can spend five minutes proving that you don't.

    It's crap like this that makes me tired of responding to you when you just respond with "Not an argument." While you make up strawmen or go off on irrelevant tangents.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  4. Vergil

    Vergil Banned

    Jul 8, 2014
    Could you be anymore typical? Taking quotes entirely out of context and making up a meaning to suit your needs isn't an argument.
    Jesus' sacrifice started a whole new Covenant invalidating the old one and rendering the old laws void. Jews are the only people who follow the old testament laws. For like, what is this the 5th time this has had to be explained to you??
    With the coming of Christ, God established a new covenant with mankind (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, Hebrews 8:8-13, 9:11-15). Jesus and His apostles gave a new understanding of the true intent of the Old Testament Law; they brought a new era of the rule of love for all people and spiritual truth instead of rule by law (Luke 10:25-28, John 13:34-35, Ephesians 2:14-18).
    This is probably the last post I'll make towards you, I don't have the saintly patience to repeat myself 5-fold for everything I have to sit down and explain to you.

    EDIT: Heres another source in case you need to be told for a 6th time.
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  5. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    I'm going to call your bluff and also compile all the verses you dropped here. 31:31-34 22:20 8:8-13

    In summary: There is a new convenant. A few recommendations about what you should do without reference to anything in The Law. And some talk about the benefits of the new covenant.

    I already acknowledge that Christians aren't all Biblical literalists and I get why people wouldn't take the OT seriously. That's why I said you're textually wrong. If you're just going to say the Bible is apocryphal and open to interpretation despite contradictions, then just say so. It flummoxes me that you feel the need to try and justify it textually despite not claiming to be a literalist.

    Your link-out basically says there's a new covenant, but that Jesus still didn't retract them. He basically scolded people for living according to just the letter of the law, not its spirit. He adds a lot of different interpretations to what Moses already said to boot. (Just looking at a woman lustfully is adultery.)

    Sounds like a bunch of hokum sophistry to get out of discussing that there is a purpose to the other laws and no discussion as to which are modified and how.

    And yes, I already know that Jesus is the whole point of Christianity. This isn't news to most of us.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  6. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    I once went to a beauthiful church (the brakes on my car overheated, so i went sightseeing). I was marveling at the beauthiful architecture and the grandiose size of it and it seemed that i was alone in there. The priest who appeared shortly after that thought that he was alone too, so while i was silently gazin at painting, he proceeded to let out a massive fart that ressonated and echoed inside the walls of this massive structure. Ruined the whole experience.
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  7. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    And since you demanded it, and I'm het up enough, I'm going to give you my unsparing criticism about what pissed me off about the rest of your post. If you strawman, misattribute or just plain didn't read, then I will say so.

    Your expectations of the unusual or "coincidental" are purely subjective.

    Go back and read my post.

    I said religion sells a worldview and claims that it has information that influences my actions in the world. Even if it's as simple as voting a particular way on a particular issue or go tithing to a church. You are essentially claiming information that demands positive action on my part. This is why the burden of proof is greater on you.

    Hindus have a rich culture. So did the ancient Greeks. So what. You are on a tangent.

    *sigh* Okay perhaps I shouldn't tell you to go back and read.
    I will, however, elaborate. I called that a back-handed thing to say.

    Firstly, yes, because I am insinuating that this makes you gullible and ready to believe that you have specially privileged information. This isn't unique to religion especially, but wannabe psychics and the like.

    Secondly, and more pertinently, this suggests that God either plays favorites or isn't particularly good at his job for whatever reason. It doesn't actually alleviate the burden of proof either. If only you know about it, but cannot communicate it to anybody else, then it is of little benefit to anybody else but you.

    This makes your sky is blue thing an imperfect analogy. Because we share a common experience with the madman. Perceiving that the sky is blue isn't the special feature of his madness. And even if here really actually just color-blind or possessed of synesthesia, we could prove those things, which is why we know about them.

    Strawman. Go back and read. You are assuming things about Doomsday's position that he never actually said.
    Also, you have an irritating habit of referring to authority especially after people have shown you why those authorities were fucking unqualified to speak on the subject, or weren't even actually agreeing with you to begin with.

    Authoritarian argument. Don't make them.
    Seriously, don't be that guy who runs to Einstein to prove a point.

    I also suspect that you don't actually know what Spniozan pantheism is. They don't believe in personal gods. This isn't actually a god in any meaningful sense, but just a false equivocation between "everything" and a "god."

    It's not many gods. Just one. And it doesn't have any special purpose for humanity. It is simply indifferent and distant. It is just the universe or something.

    Einstein wasn't right about everything in physics either, as he was deeply uncomfortable with quantum mechanics. And he respected the Catholic church for resisting Nazism, except the Vatican tacitly had a treaty with Hitler that agreed that Catholicism would be the state religion of Germany.

    Not that these things in of themselves are objections if he is actually right about something, but seriously. Quit using Einstein for religion.

    Why not?

    I didn't say anything about your position. I was stating mine.

    If the universe is absurd, yes it does sort of contradict the idea of a God described by theodicy. Sort of. If only because that means there is no intrinsic moral order or providenced meaning. But that's not the point.

    My overall point is that the guy you referenced is dead wrong for assuming that everybody shares his view of epistemology. It is quite probable that there are Christian existentialists or that there were/are pure empiricists who think he's full of shit. In practice, most people are some blend of empiricist+rationalist, to the point that contemporary rationalism is assumed to include some amount of empirical practice.

    A lot of people would line up to disagree with him philosophically by simply saying that there is no intrinsic "law" or order. Scientific laws are only figurative laws.

    Put your thoughts in some cohesive order because this is still all the same subject matter.
    1) The Big Bang can't rightly said to have been an act of creation at all. The guy you quoted all but said that it was scientifically proven there was a creator even though the initial conditions of the universe are impossible to observe. He is being an asshat.
    2) Don't play the "something must have caused" something game. Because we can just ask what caused God. The cause doesn't have to be an agent actor. And even if it is, then we can play armchair philosophy all day with it.
    3) Burden of proof.

    See above.
    Also, you're the one who quoted the guy. If you can't be bothered to read what he said, why are you citing him?

    Everything after this we've already scrapped about and basically boils down to, "I'm in the right sect and I'm right because I said so."
    Christianity isn't some monolithic religion. And even the extinct heretical branches got that way because they were excluded from councils that decided that they were wrong.

    So yes, it basically boils down to your word versus theirs. Why is Westboro wrong to be racist.
    I'd like to see one of you actually prove which one of you Jesus would've actually agreed with, if he even cared.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
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  8. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    You can't disprove God, it's simply impossible more or less by definition. Claiming that the burden of proof is on both the atheists and the theists is silly, as I can just as well claim that there's a teapot orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth an Mars. It's too small to see it, but trust me, it's there!
    It's an unfalsifiable claim, and shifting the burden of proof around is intellectually dishonest at best.
    The thing is that in the same way you can't prove the existence of God, either, until He decides to reveal Himself, at which point in time any proof of existence is useless, anyway.
    God is about faith, not exact knowledge. Everyone has their own reasons to believe or not believe in God, but nobody can know for sure.
    An interesting question, I think, is "does God care if we believe in Him", or, "Why care about the existence of God, then". God supposedly knows all and is supposed to be benevolent. Wouldn't God know and understand why someone would not believe in Him and yet still lead a good life, good even in the conceptual eyes of God, despite not believing in God? What benevolent God would then deny entry to the heavenly congregation purely on the single point "Well, you didn't believe in Me. Sure, I kinda made you and I fully understand your reasoning and yes, I see that you can't just change your mind about something that is heavily influenced by the subconscious, but hey, that's how it is. To the outer circles with you!"?
    Either way we can't be sure about the existence of God or the Heavens or whatever you might want to believe in. That begs the question, why even care? It is largely inconsequential to our mortal life. Morals and ethics don't have to come from a divine sources, but can be derived from humanistic principles as well. Acknowledging that we have only this one mortal life, does it then make sense to worry about the existence of one God or another if that godhead would most likely understand our reasons, anyway?
    Instead of devoting our lifes to the uncertain existence of something bigger, shouldn't we rather focus on leading the best life for everyone possible? On making the most of the little time we have, to progress mankind?
    Which brings me to another question:

    This guy has held his right arm up for 38 years to honour the gods, specifically Shiva.
    Wtf? What a waste of a life. Wouldn't it rather anger any godhead to see its creation waste the preciously short time it has with a completely useless gesture like that? Sure, omniscient, understanding the reasons and all, but damn, what a waste. "So what did you do to make the world better?" -"I held up my arm."
    Shouldn't we rather focus on making the world better instead of squabbling about if our god is JHWH, Allah, Christ, or whatever?
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  9. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    Interesting response. I don't think I've heard that one before. That kind of response seems like it would fully disagree with the idea of an intervening God, so maybe it wouldn't be the best for reconciling the Problem of Evil with the Christian idea of God, though could still be used as an effective defense of the Free Will defense.
  10. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    I got it from Jehova's Witnesses, actually. And yes, God decided that He will never intervene because humanity rebelled against God by choosing free will over paradise. God wants to help as He is compassionate, but He vowed to let humanity and will only act through guidance.
    It's basically the perfect defence: Everything bad is humanity's fault or just an accident, everything good is done through the guidance of God.
  11. Throatpunch

    Throatpunch Banned

    Apr 14, 2016
    To clear this up, I do not believe that theistic people can't be scientists or do great scientific things. Neither do I believe it goes against science.
    I just think bible stories, miracles and the ideas of heaven and hell are nonsense.
    Stop assuming my positions. You must spend hours of you life attacking people about positions they don't even have.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  12. Izak

    Izak I Shot The ALBATROSS

    Jan 29, 2016
    Why specifically?
  13. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    So if we were loyal little drones/robots we would not have suffered? Yeah I am not buying that.
  14. Throatpunch

    Throatpunch Banned

    Apr 14, 2016
    I find many Bible stories and miracles nonsensical because of walking on water, turning water into wine, making 5000 loaves of bread into one loaf. It's like a magic show, and they have literally no explanations to how Jesus managed to do these things other than his special powers. And some of the Genesis loopholes too, genetic evidence indicates that humans descended from at least 10,000 people with the amount of variation we have right now.
    And I just dislike the entire concepts of Heaven and Hell, like, sinners going down to burn in a place of fire and pain forever, and good people living forever in harmony with God in the sky, with no evidence for the existence of these places. Its likely most people who walk down a white tunnel are hallucinating
  15. Izak

    Izak I Shot The ALBATROSS

    Jan 29, 2016
    But how would one go about proving the existence of heaven/hell? Those places are supposed to be on different planes of existence, they don't necessarily have a connection to the physical world, same goes for miracles.
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  16. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    Well, they're miracles. Of course they're nonsensical or supernatural, otherwise they wouldn't be miracles. That's the whole point. There are no explanations besides "Divine Help" because that's what this is about.
    As for Genesis, well yeah, it's just a fictional account. Barely any christians believe in the literal account of Genesis anymore, and those who do are rightfully laughed at.
    And the concept of Heaven and Hell is not actually biblical to begin with, it's mostly a manufactum of the early Church.
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  17. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    The problem with I have with most fictional portrayals of the supernatural, or even the metaphysical discussion of it (one is basically a thought experiment of the other problem), is that supernatural things actually aren't supernatural. If you have a zombie, you now have a physical problem in the physical universe. Whatever the reason that the corpses is walking doesn't change the fact that something is, by definition, participating in the universe. It is no longer above nature, it is a part of it.

    And it's where a lot of fiction that presents a dichotomy between magic and science fall flat. Because if the characters in your fiction treat it like a scientific practice which they can benefit by, they've just invented technology. And it does not do well to look down on alchemists or magicians who did think that the way to get mastery over nature was to tap into divine forces that act upon physical reality. That is completely reasonable. That was Hermeticism in a nutshell -- the whole cultural flavor behind Harry Potter style wizards who cast spells by academic method.

    We have this ingrained cultural assumption that what is physically evident is contemptuous, base and low. If it cannot be seen, then it is awesome, beautiful and numinous. And there is really no reason to assume that false dichotomy.

    If you have an afterlife experience, you can very well expect it to conform more-or-less to the cultural expectations of the person having them.
    Out-of-body experience don't give you more information about the environment of, say, the surgical ward you were in. (Draw a smiley face on a piece of paper, put it on top of a tall shelf or something.)

    Do Hindu death rituals kill people? Actually no. Since an Indian debunker made it a point to do this on television.

    Does that televised preacher actually cure cancer? Well, no. Randi was well known for making a career out of debunking them.

    If you have ghosts, and a very specific idea of what they are, and who has the power to intercede over them. That too is testable. Will brandishing a cross, being a priest and invoking Jesus Christ really impress any such thing? Go find me a ghost, control for the culture of the ghost and go test it. Once you establish the necessity of those things, it's hard to argue that the priest is not favored by some innate hierarchy.

    If reincarnation is some sort of hierarchy where you move up to better lives, why are there more humans now then before? Are people/things really building up that much good karma? That really seems like it should be a testable social experiment or something you should be able to run statistics on.

    Does being religious make you more moral. Uhm. Well by personal admission and by some metrics, no. Will that stop people from acting like its a necessary part of a person's education or holding prejudices against people who have the wrong or no religion? Hell no.

    The problem is that if you have very elaborate testable and falsifiable ideas about how your cosmology actually works in the physical universe, it shouldn't be shocking when people put them to the test. Of course, people get around this either by shifting goal posts or just not making any strong claims whatsoever.

    Basically, you go looking for the afterlife the way you go looking for extraterrestrials, and people are trying to do both. Israeli archaeologists pretty much proved that the Moses story was ahistorical. Slaves didn't build the pyramids, but were built by a well-paid worker class.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  18. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    The Gods are way too flawed to be perfect in my opinion. They're way too human, and humans are really flawed.

    How can a human be perfect? He can't. How can a human creation be perfect? They can't as well.

    Remember, when thinking about gods always think about this. If no one believed in them and forgot them are they real anymore?
  19. Shaodeus

    Shaodeus Still Mildly Glowing

    Apr 28, 2016
    I liked reading the old testament, it was all pretty metal. Really enjoyed the savage atmosphere it had
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  20. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    Yeah, love the killing and rape.
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