Page 1 of 18 [ 287 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 18  Next

truth15ful
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 103

13 Jul 2013, 1:59 pm

Hi everyone,
There are a lot of misconceptions about religion and especially about Christianity. I'd like to see if I can set the record straight. So this thread is for you guys to post any problems or objections to Christianity, and I'll try to answer them the best I can.



trollcatman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Dec 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,919

13 Jul 2013, 2:05 pm

Lack of evidence for the existance of the Abrahamic God (or any other gods) is the main probleem I see with it.

Also, internal inconsistences in the bible, though I could also explain that as man-made errors in writing or compiling the bible.



TallyMan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 40,061

13 Jul 2013, 2:19 pm

^ As above. Since biblical explanations of the origins of mankind are known to be simply myths with no basis in reality and that evolution is a fact, it kind of makes concepts of a god irrelevant - especially when there is no evidence that any gods exist.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


truth15ful
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 103

13 Jul 2013, 2:29 pm

One of the most common misconceptions is that there could never be any evidence for a higher power because evidence must be something we can see, and we cannot see God. This is not the case. First, evidence does not have to be something physical. As long as you can know something and reason with it, it can be used as evidence. Second, even though God Himself cannot be seen, evidence for Him can still be known. With those two things in mind, there is a great deal of evidence for a higher power. I posted a video to YouTube a few months ago talking about this very thing:
The Path to Power Pt. 1: Yes, There Is A God
It is pretty easy to prove that there is a god, but harder to prove that there is the Abrahamic God. The proof or that comes from the Bible.
Which brings us to your second point. If the Bible really is inspired by God, it would not have a single error in it. I would contend that the original books of the Bible did not have any inconsistencies in them. The problem is that when we read the Bible, we are not reading the original writings. They have been copied and translated many times. Still, these inconsistencies are far fewer than you might think. Often what people think are inconsistencies are really just figures of speech (e.g. Genesis 9:11: All life was not destroyed because Noah and his family were still alive) or words with double meanings (e.g. Genesis 2:17 refers to spiritual death).



Mike1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 710

ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 84
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,502
Location: New Jersey

13 Jul 2013, 2:37 pm

truth15ful wrote:
One of the most common misconceptions is that there could never be any evidence for a higher power because evidence must be something we can see, and we cannot see God..


We can't see atoms but there is plenty of indirect evidence that atoms (and their parts) exist.

Either religions make prophecies that cannot be tested empirically, therefore cannot be falsified or religions do make prophecies which are just plain wrong. In the first case, the untestability renders religions unreliable and in the second case their false prophecies show that they are just plain wrong.

No religion ever conceived has a track record as strong as quantum electrodynamics.

ruveyn



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

13 Jul 2013, 2:55 pm

*shrug*

Ok:

1) Despite how God is proclaimed as perfect and morally perfect, the world that exists is a world full of suffering and defects, often suffering that seems to have no point, and it is a world where these imperfections seem to have existed for all time. A perfect God seems implausible in the light of our psychological problems, our back pains from our evolutionary history, and earthquakes. We are certainly on the line where these changes will have a significant impact on well-being.

2) Despite how God is said to seek the salvation of all people, only a particular set of people who grew up in Christian households and who were taught this from birth, tend to be believers, and the rest of the world is to largely be damned by many standard Christian theologies. The issue being that these sorts of outcomes don't align well with any notion that people in hell are to be considered to have a real opportunity to develop a saving faith. Even worse, many of these individuals do seem to be concerned about the truth of their beliefs, and still find themselves in disagreement with the Christian claims.

3) The eternal nature of hell doesn't seem reasonable in light of a finite time on earth and transgressions by finite beings.

4) Penal Substitution Theory, a dominant theory of how mankind's salvation came about distorts all notions of justice, by having an innocent party pay for the crimes of a guilty party, which both involves punishing the innocent, but disconnecting those with guilt from their actual crimes. Any analogy for this will look horrendously absurd, and even unjust. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0027/0027_01.asp

5) The divisions in the Christian church do not tend to look like a unified body guided by any supernatural agency so much as a feuding group of people who have had nothing to check whether they were right or wrong, and so the errors accumulated. Even further, Christians themselves do not seem as if they have been supernaturally touched to be better people, y'know, guided by the Holy Spirit, so much as ordinary people caught up in a rather strange belief system.

6) The holy book, the Bible does appear to have many errors and questions, even has not been saved from error during the existence of the church. So, during large sections of history, the Bible has had erroneous texts placed in it, such as the Comma Johanneum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum Which in modern bibles, except the KJV, is no longer included because it's considered to be an invalid insertion. The problem being that if the Holy Bible is man's guide to God, the fact that it couldn't be preserved from error, by say the Holy Spirit, leads us to question about whether God is watching over this holy text to preserve it from error. Our recognition of even earlier errors, errors that do not appear to be invalid insertions lead us to doubt as well:

Mat 27:3-8 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, (4) saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." (5) And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. (6) But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money." (7) So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. (8 ) Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Act 1:16-19 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. (17) For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." (18 ) (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. (19) And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

So between those two verses and accounts, we have variations in who bought the field(priests or Judas), the reason for the name of the field(bought with blood money vs person died there), and even how Judas died(hung himself vs falling headlong and bursting open). Even if some of these seem settleable, not all of them do. The problem is that this undermines the extent to which we should believe the text was guided by God, and especially even the extent to which we should believe in any of the miracles in that text. This isn't to say that memory is perfect, or anything else, but rather that any account's reliability partially depends on whether it is checked for errors well, and... the Bible clearly has errors thrown in there.

7) The reasons for the Fall and divine rebellion. So, often it is said that Adam's free will caused the fall, but if that's the case, couldn't God have seen that outcome and created a context where a free willed Adam and a free willed Eve could have lived their lives out perfectly in the garden without a Fall? Couldn't free will coexist with the inability to choose bad, like it must in God, in Christ, and in those who die and go up into heaven? And if you don't believe in a literal Fall, then how can you reconstruct the narrative?

8 ) How does the Bible line up with our scientific knowledge? So, our scientific knowledge gives us reason to doubt the existence of a real free will: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/637/ . Our scientific knowledge gives us reason to believe that mankind ever had a population bottleneck at Eden or Noah's Flood as the smallest genetic bottleneck in our history is much much larger. http://biologos.org/blog/does-genetics- ... mal-couple And thus because of that, the standard telling of both accounts must be incorrect. Our scientific knowledge also gives us a lot of reason to suspect that our claims of miracles are just false positives created by cognitive bias, and where any detailed research will likely dispel such claims, even such that it seems like we can understand the world purely in terms of naturalism. If all we need is naturalism to understand the world, then why shouldn't we reject Christian supernaturalism?

-------------------------

Is that a good start?



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

13 Jul 2013, 3:02 pm

truth15ful wrote:
It is pretty easy to prove that there is a god

Can you please post the argument in text form? I find it much easier to read and evaluate or critique an argument rather than listen to it. I usually lose focus when I listen, and even worse, when I hear something interesting, I have to go through extra effort to transcribe or paraphrase it(and thus open myself to criticism for errors) when a direct quote from the source serves both sides better.

Quote:
Which brings us to your second point. If the Bible really is inspired by God, it would not have a single error in it. I would contend that the original books of the Bible did not have any inconsistencies in them. The problem is that when we read the Bible, we are not reading the original writings. They have been copied and translated many times. Still, these inconsistencies are far fewer than you might think. Often what people think are inconsistencies are really just figures of speech (e.g. Genesis 9:11: All life was not destroyed because Noah and his family were still alive) or words with double meanings (e.g. Genesis 2:17 refers to spiritual death).

Is your contention a reason to believe this is the case? I mean, you can contend all you like, but from my understanding it's a consensus among every scholar who isn't a fundamentalist and thus ideologically(and often economically) bound to hold that errors don't exist in that text, that the Bible has errors. Even a book like The Oxford Guide to the Bible, an encyclopedia put together by Biblical scholars will basically admit that yes, the Bible appears to have errors in the text.

Even further, by pushing this back to a text that you don't have, isn't this just an evasion? You avoid outright disproof, but we don't have strong reasons to think all of the errors we perceive just aren't in the original text. Should we take your unfalsifiable evasion seriously?



NewDawn
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Age: 64
Gender: Female
Posts: 306
Location: Netherlands

13 Jul 2013, 3:17 pm

truth15ful wrote:
As long as you can know something and reason with it, it can be used as evidence.


Just....no.

Example:
Aristotle thought that the speed with which an object fell to the ground depended on its weigth. People 'knew' this throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Then in the 17th century a guy named Galileo Galilei had the brilliant idea of actually measuring how fast objects fall to the ground. And he measured that everything on the planet falls at exactly the same ,acceleration, namely 9,8 m/s^2. Countless physics undergraduate students have repeated this measurement (it's sort of standard in a college introductory physics course), and they all get 9,8 m/s^2, again and again. That's evidence. I know that objects fall to Earth at exactly the same acceleration, because of that evidence. Evidence is entirely independent of what anybody thinks.



truth15ful
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 103

13 Jul 2013, 3:47 pm

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_c ... -Harsh.htm
You're right, evil is rampant throughout the world, even in the Christian church. But what is evil? According to Christianity, humans were created perfectly and in the image of God. When the first people sinned, they lost that image. Evil is the difference between the way we are and the way God is. God is a good God, and the Bible is a good book. But it was written for people who were familiar with the Jewish people's history and probably better understood why it would say the things that it said.
Now about the problem of Hell: Hell is a place filled with evil, weakness, pain... all things that are far from the image of God. But that's the point: People are far from the image of God! We do evil all the time, and often when we do good it is for our own benefit, because we are selfish, not because we are loving. God is the one who keeps us from becoming more evil than we are! It would be just of him to leave us all in Hell; we would feel right at home there. But God gave us a chance to be spared from all of that. He didn't have to, but He did it because He had a purpose for us. He didn't want to just throw us away.
Of course that brings us to the question, If God is such a great and good God, why did He let the world get so evil in the first place? It pains me to say this, but I don't know. All I can give you is an analogy: Do you remember when you were a child, and you were punished by your parents without understanding why? Or perhaps someone you loved was going on a long trip and you knew that no matter how much you missed them, there was nothing you could do about it, but you still didn't understand why? Even when we get older, we don't understand everything. God has a reason, even if we may never know it.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

13 Jul 2013, 3:51 pm

The problem with the analogy is that children are rather dumb, and yet the human race has, through the use of several tools, likely made itself capable of understanding any truth, as even if one person cannot understand it, formal logic, programming, and all of the rest have basically unlimited abilities to make sense of a set of logical premises.

That being said, why should we believe that the first people really did have the Fall and that this is impactful, or even why should God have allowed generations afterward suffer for the failing of their parents?



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 84
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,502
Location: New Jersey

13 Jul 2013, 3:57 pm

NewDawn wrote:
truth15ful wrote:
As long as you can know something and reason with it, it can be used as evidence.


Just....no.

Example:
Aristotle thought that the speed with which an object fell to the ground depended on its weigth. People 'knew' this throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages.


the scholar John Philliponis questioned this doctrine in the 7 th century.



truth15ful
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 103

13 Jul 2013, 4:12 pm

Awesomelyglorious: It's been a couple months since I made the video, but let me try to put it into words again:
As humans, we have the ability to think and reason. For example, f I ask you what 2+2 is, immediately you'll be able to say 4. But this ability must depend on someone else. You see, if this ability really belonged to us, we would be able to use it whenever we wanted and as much as we wanted. For example, if I asked you what 18142+14211 is, you could immediately say 32353. It takes no extra knowledge or greater understanding to solve the second problem than the first one, but somehow the longer one takes more time. That's why there must be some higher power to give us this ability.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

13 Jul 2013, 4:26 pm

truth15ful wrote:
Awesomelyglorious: It's been a couple months since I made the video, but let me try to put it into words again:
As humans, we have the ability to think and reason. For example, f I ask you what 2+2 is, immediately you'll be able to say 4. But this ability must depend on someone else. You see, if this ability really belonged to us, we would be able to use it whenever we wanted and as much as we wanted. For example, if I asked you what 18142+14211 is, you could immediately say 32353. It takes no extra knowledge or greater understanding to solve the second problem than the first one, but somehow the longer one takes more time. That's why there must be some higher power to give us this ability.

Umm..... that argument sounds.... deeply questionable.

So, in computer programs many times operations take different amounts of time based upon the process. The more involved the process is, the longer. So, while having excel do a vlookup involving 700 rows may be nothing, having it do 700,000 rows ends up putting a lot of strain on the processor. There is no extra knowledge required though because it's simply the vlookup function in both cases. And so on....

With human beings, we find the issue of strain coming up very profoundly. So, I know what I'm doing when I add two very large #s together, and it's a different operation from when I am adding two very small #s together. When I add 2+2, I can do this directly. But 18142+14211, I find that I don't have the processing power to keep all of that straight. I lack the memory to remember both #s and the working memory to solve the entire problem at once, so when I solve it, I break it down into multiple problems and tackle each smaller problem. So, I'll record both #s, solve 1+2, solve 1+4, solve 2+1, solve 4+8 and store the additional 10 in the next #, and then solve 1+1+1. It's not like there is some magical process going on, but rather, like a computer solving a problem, I have limitations.

Anybody who has studied computers knows that what goes on in those, is that there is a set of logic-gates organized in a manner such that the right answer will be procedurally granted. Well, the brain is very similar to a computer in that same way, except that unlike a purely sequentialist logic gate, we have a connectionist network. The connections do a lot of the same task of logic gates in a computer processor, but unlike logic gates, they are not as fixed, as we have a massively parallel processor where multiple things are going on at once. However, just like a computer, we shouldn't expect an infinite calculating power when solving a problem. In fact, if we just had infinite power, this would actually seem contrary to naturalism.



Last edited by Awesomelyglorious on 13 Jul 2013, 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GGPViper
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,791

13 Jul 2013, 4:30 pm

truth15ful wrote:
I posted a video to YouTube a few months ago talking about this very thing:
The Path to Power Pt. 1: Yes, There Is A God

OK, I actually sat through all 6 minutes and 51 seconds of that video. That's 6 minutes and 51 seconds that I will never get back.

To summarize your argument:

You: What is 2 + 2?
Viewer: Four.
You: OK

You: What is 4 + 1?
Viewer: Five.
You: OK.

You: What is 2,048 + 579?
Viewer: Umm, a bit trickier. Let's see, that's 2,000 + 500, that's 2,500. Then we have 48 + 79, that's 127. 2,500 plus 127 is...
You: GOD MADE THIS.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that there are several posters on WP - and millions of people in the world - who could calculate 2,048 + 579 almost as easily as 2 + 2.

Next.


_________________
Omit needless words.


Last edited by GGPViper on 13 Jul 2013, 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

13 Jul 2013, 4:34 pm

GGPViper wrote:
Oh, and I'm pretty sure that there are several posters on WP - and millions of people in the world - who could calculate 2,048 + 579 almost as easily as 2 + 2.

I doubt it. They'd do both quickly, but one is computationally more demanding.