U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-16-2014, 09:21 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,953 posts, read 1,611,130 times
Reputation: 7994

Advertisements

Hey yakfish,

I suspect like many profound life experiences "losing faith" is typically a process that takes time, like being in love, being a good parent, tempering passions with wisdom, etc... It is not usually a "Damascus" experience (couldn't resist). You just have to decide to take time to explore where the probable truth lies: in faith or in reason & logic.

That's your ultimate decision here.

I remember the winter I decided my evangelical faith was an arbitrary choice that I couldn't fully embrace anymore, it meant leaving virtually my entire social circle & being very alone to the point where I fear I came close to losing it at times through the combination of being solitary, the dark bitter weather & guilt. I was all in until that point & even today, decades later, a lot of my old friends have continued their walk with the church & we have very different world views. Once you step out from the trees & get a look at the forests it is probably like being an addict & getting sober, you understand the attraction but as time goes by you realize the advantages of not getting caught up in previous behavior.

For me, as apparently for many of us, the final breaking point was the belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, something Jesus didn't teach btw, & the believers' custom of reading anything they wanted into virtually any phrase. It was apparent to me even then that certain "church leaders" used the bible to advance their own prestige & political ideas, the latter being fully formed nowadays almost completely in certain areas of the country.

It is ultimately a rejection not just of "Faith", but of the notion of faith itself being a virtue & good thing to pursue in any area of life. Hope & charity still abide though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-10-2014, 12:28 PM
 
59 posts, read 59,947 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by beninfl View Post
Excellent! Please explain your "evidence". That's right, dont just walk away from this thread without further reply, reply with the sufficient evidence.



Ooooh, so you don't like THAT bad data, but you have your own mysterious evidence instead?

Show me the money. Prove your statements. Otherwise your essentially lying to yourself about made up evidence. There is none. There never has been. :-)
Why don't you do the studying yourself , Most atheists are like people in an exam ,they want the teacher to give them the answer ,then they don't have to struggle to develop all their faculties ,including the one that gives answers to deeper questions,like access to God .Much of religion ,and their teachers teach very badly ,and have too much ignored the rational answers for the existence of an intelligent Creator,but if you are serious you will keep looking ,as it obvious you care.

To the Poster,as someone who was agnostic,and believed tenaciously that the prove of a God could be found in logical materialism for many years,and ignored religion entirely,I say we all need to explore and will never be sure if God exists if we don't risk leaving behind practice for a search .I studied widely and am happily sure now ,that I have been given proof that satisfies me .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2014, 07:51 PM
 
446 posts, read 401,100 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakfish View Post
I was born to a Christian family and have studied the bible my whole life. After 30 years I find myself questioning everything I have believed. At this point I am only searching for truth, and if that truth turns out to be that God doesn't exist then so be it. The question I have for you in this thread is how do you atheists answer the Biblical Prophesy argument? The Idea that there are Old Testament prophecies foretelling the virgin birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus? This is one aspect I am somewhat hung up on. If this can be disproven it will discredit the whole Bible in my mind. I have lots of other random questions in my mind as well but I just want to address this one right now. I know many of you have been where I am now so I appreciate your time.
Thanks
I invite you to study Qur'an, and see if answers your questions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2014, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,387 posts, read 2,171,098 times
Reputation: 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieTherese View Post
Why don't you do the studying yourself , Most atheists are like people in an exam ,they want the teacher to give them the answer ,then they don't have to struggle to develop all their faculties ,including the one that gives answers to deeper questions,like access to God .Much of religion ,and their teachers teach very badly ,and have too much ignored the rational answers for the existence of an intelligent Creator,but if you are serious you will keep looking ,as it obvious you care.

To the Poster,as someone who was agnostic,and believed tenaciously that the prove of a God could be found in logical materialism for many years,and ignored religion entirely,I say we all need to explore and will never be sure if God exists if we don't risk leaving behind practice for a search .I studied widely and am happily sure now ,that I have been given proof that satisfies me .
You don't actually know any atheists, do you?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2014, 03:26 AM
 
39,503 posts, read 11,015,060 times
Reputation: 5125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieTherese View Post
Why don't you do the studying yourself , Most atheists are like people in an exam ,they want the teacher to give them the answer ,then they don't have to struggle to develop all their faculties ,including the one that gives answers to deeper questions,like access to God .Much of religion ,and their teachers teach very badly ,and have too much ignored the rational answers for the existence of an intelligent Creator,but if you are serious you will keep looking ,as it obvious you care.

To the Poster,as someone who was agnostic,and believed tenaciously that the prove of a God could be found in logical materialism for many years,and ignored religion entirely,I say we all need to explore and will never be sure if God exists if we don't risk leaving behind practice for a search .I studied widely and am happily sure now ,that I have been given proof that satisfies me .
I initially reacted to this post as Sizzly Frizzle did - the atheists had to find out the answers for themselves, as they certainly weren't going to get them from religion.

Over a process of long study, they came to the conclusion that the claims of religion were without credibility.

But I get what you mean in your post. The 'answer' is getting a faith experience of the kind that makes you believe in a way that has nothing to do with evidence or reasoning, which is why the arguments of believers have nothing to do with sound reasoning or evidence, but pushing faith.

That is why so often the urge is to believe or get into a believing posture as much as possible and then pray to be given the belief and keep praying until you get it.

We call this being brainwashed into belief. We have seen many of the reasons why someone got into this Faith and so often it was just seeing a passage in one or other holy Book. I have been astonished at just how feeble such a reason to believe looks, but I understand that that the persons involved were on the edge of Faith anyway. The scriptural passage was the last straw as it were that tipped them over into faith.

In fact, when I come to think of it, my twenty year struggle with the claims of religion ended with a passage in the Upanishads. I felt a tremendous wave of relief that the claims of religion were without value and I have never ceased to remember and be thankful for it.

For those having doubts about their religion, I can wholeheartedly recommend ditching it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2014, 06:12 AM
 
39,503 posts, read 11,015,060 times
Reputation: 5125
I just noted the question posed in the OP, and I don't believe I replied to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakfish View Post
I was born to a Christian family and have studied the bible my whole life. After 30 years I find myself questioning everything I have believed. At this point I am only searching for truth, and if that truth turns out to be that God doesn't exist then so be it. The question I have for you in this thread is how do you atheists answer the Biblical Prophesy argument? The Idea that there are Old Testament prophecies foretelling the virgin birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus? This is one aspect I am somewhat hung up on. If this can be disproven it will discredit the whole Bible in my mind. I have lots of other random questions in my mind as well but I just want to address this one right now. I know many of you have been where I am now so I appreciate your time.
Thanks
After studying the Bible, I am convinced that prophecy is retrospective. In the OT, the prophecies of Tyre, Babylon and Daniel were retrofitted and the date of writing can be identified because they are roughly correct up to that date, and then they fail. Babylon was not destroyed, Tyre did not remain desolate and the predictions about the end of the kings in Daniel (The ptolemies and Seleucids) did not come about.

The same method was applied to Jesus. The prophecies are all passages taken out of OT text that doesn't relate to Jesus at all. The references to struggles with the Assyrians show the context of much of Isaiah.

Thus they are treated as clues to Jesus hidden in a context that was nothing to do with him. The passage in Psalm 22 that was considered to most be a prophecy of Jesus' crucifixion has the passage about his being no man and no better than a worm (22.6) . I believe it also says he is a sinner (King David was, of course, and the Psalms are about him, not Jesus) That does not get mentioned in the prophecy!

Consider the opening of the psalm These words are put into Jesus mouth on the cross, but only in mark and Matthew. Luke and John don't have them at all, yet the Church doesn't worry at all that the last words of Jesus on the cross don't agree. It simply combined them all together. If one tries hard enough, one can explain this, but then, once I found that 'Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani' was a quote from the OT, I wondered why Jesus in a reproachful despair that is quite unlike the obedient acceptance of Luke and divine triumph of John, would quote from an OT passage.

The answer is that Mark and Matthew had a common additional source of material. A source (rather like 'Q' that Matthew Luke used) but which contained material (e.g the feeding of 4,000 and the Syrio -phonecian woman) that we don't find in Luke. nor John.

We find the mocking of 22. 7 and 8 put into the mouths of the Priests at the cross. Also 22.16 with the reference to pierced hands and feet so much fitted the crucifixion that it surely started the writers off searching Psalms for anything that looked like it related to Jesus and the sacrifice they believed the crucifixion was. If they hadn't heard of the casting of lots for jesus' clothes - well, it fitted so well that it must have happened, and so that was added to the Jesus story. In fact John (19.24) actually explains that the gambling for Jesus' clothes was done to fulfill that prophecy. But then John goes overboard with prophecy, as we shall see.

Thus the prophecies were not just taken out of the OT to fit the Jesus story, but they were used to construct it.

John refers to a stabbing in the side connected with the business of leg -breaking, none of which is mentioned in the Synoptic version and Luke pretty much denies it as in John when the resurrected Jesus appears, he shows hands, feet and the wound in the side, but Luke doesn't mention the spear -wound at all.

John sees Zechariah 12. 10 as relating to this stab -wound even though it could just as well relate to the piercing of hands and feet with nails. and he has to go to Psalms (34. 19) again for the passage about bones not being broken or 'lost' which is hard to understand in the context of crucifixion.

Of course (since someone will surely point this out) John says this is eyewitness and the spear and leg -breaking could be true. But if so, then it is odd that Mark, Matthew and Luke know nothing of it and the fulfillment of a prophecy seemed to have escaped them. However, if so, it is still John looking through his OT and finding unrelated lines of text that seem to fit.

John stretches prophetic relevance even more in 12 38 and 40 where the general view of Greek Christians was that the Jews deserved what they got in the Jewish war because they had not believed that Jesus was Messiah and God incarnate and relates it to Isaiah 53 where John changes what has been heard to what has been reported, in order to fit the idea of eyewitness prophecy, and even more of a stretch in Isaiah 6, where Isaiah's vision of an angel becomes related to this nasty idea that God himself arranged it that the Jews would not believe, so as to merit their punishment.

The most striking stretch of John's prophetic detection -work is John 11 50, where Caiaphas of all people is given the gift of prophecy in order to predict the death of Jesus and the gathering of the children of God, which is a lot to read into a pragmatic decision to do away with a troublemaker.

This is a clear example of retrofitted prophecy going too far and betraying itself. And Matthew is just as bad. In two cases, we have events recorded that are quite notableand yet are known neither to histyory nor to the other gospel -writers: the massacre of innocents and the opening of the tombs at the crucifixion. The latter is also an example of using a prophecy to provide screenplay. At the coming of the Kingdom of God (in Christian thought upon the death -sacrifice of Jesus) the 'saints' should be resurrected and so Matthew writes in something that looks like this prophetic requirement being fulfilled.

The massacre of innocents is required by Mathew's nativity -story. Which is also needed to fulfil prophecy. That the messiah should be born in Bethlehem. So far as mark and John know, he wasn't, but in order to fulfill that needed prophecy, two stories were concocted. Luke's using the Roman tax census to jet Jesus from Nazareth into Bethlehem and Matthew's threat from Herod to get Jesus (by way of Egypt, also picking up a bit of prophecy on the way Hosea 11.1 Ex 4.22) into Nazareth. And the Jerimiad 31. 15 which relates to the obliteration of two Jewish tribal states by assyria, but matthew couldn't help being struck by how well it fitted the story of Herod's threat. True, it didn't involve the death of any children, so let him kill some, either in rage or an effort to eliminate anyone of the right age.

Do you now see the trick, Yakfish? Do you now see that the prophecies are proof of nothing but the concoction of a Christian reinvention of the historic Jesus to suit the views of the early Greek Christians?

If we see through the trick, we can sort out and put to be another hotly disputed 'prophecy': the death of Judas described in Matthew around the time of the crucifixion and in Acts 1 where Judas' death is described and a replacement is chosen by lot
'Let his habitation become desolate and let there be no-one to live in it' and 'His office let another take'.
That is also related to a prophecy taken from two Psalms 69. 25 and 109 8. The first relates not to Judas but to the roman soldiers who gave Jesus 'poison' and vinegar on the cross ((69.21) but of course the context doesn't bother prophecy -hunters and Luke cheerfully changes 'May their camp be desolation. let no -one dwell in their tents' to make it fit Judas better and the other is hardly recognizable

'let his prayer be counted as sin, may his days be few, may another seize his goods, may his children be fatherless'. Luke has indeed mangled text in order to extract a prophecy from it.

Matthew is no better. 27 9 has 'And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.' We also note Judas throwing down the money in the temple, because Matthew also saw that even in prophetic text. Zechariah 11. 12 -1J


Zechariah relates to a shepherd of domed sheep, with whom he is out of patience. While this relates to the fate of Israel at the hands of Assyria, it fits nicely with the Christian view of Jesus, except for the bit about destroying three other shepherds and breaking the staff as a symbolic sundering of the union between the two Jewish states, Israel and Judah. The relevant passage is the shepherd asking for his wages 'thirty shekels of silver, which he casts into the treasury upon the instructions of God.

The similarity to the Judas story is clear, but how the 'Shepherd' who up to then looks like jesus becomes Judas throwing the blood money into the treasury is not clear, quite apart from contradicting Acts (Luke, surely) who says that Judas had already spent the silver on a field, so he couldn't have been throwing it into the treasury.

Matthew mentions Jeremiah but the passages in Jeremiah 32. 6 and 25, which relate to buying a field have little relevance to this story and 18.2relating to the potter spoiling the pot he was making, is little more than finding the odd keyword and taking that as prophecy, rather like Lucy Van Pelt finding the word 'Sister' in the Bible.

This irrelevancy and mangling plus the contradictions, tells us what we need to know about the death of Judas. That Luke has him hung but forgets to mention the spectacular bursting open, which Matthew records, but fails to mention the hanging cannot be explained with an ingenious combining of the two into a breaking hanging rope, but they are (like the nativity and indeed the resurrection accounts) made up stories to explain how Jesus was born born in Bethlehem, how he appeared in the flesh after his crucifixion and how Judas got his punishment.

It is not eyewitness or even reliable report but a concocted story and the snipping and mangling of irrelevant OT text does not give any prophetic support.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top