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Old 11-01-2015, 07:29 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
As far as the order, I don't claim to know. All I will say is that I suspect that the writings are not in the order in which they were written. But there are probably theories against this idea also. Especially if the books of the law were never intended to be taken seriously by the writers.
They were actually written first, and Genesis came afterwards to 'fill in the history' so to speak. Of course all one had to look to for 'the law' was the Code of Hammurabi, which was written centuries earlier. The OT is not an original book, but a well plagiarized one.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:18 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
“The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against traditional religion as the "opium of the masses"—cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

Can you believe he said this??
Yes, he was a non-fanatical anti-theist himself. One would expect he was aware of the presence of some very fanatical atheists coming out of the closet at the inspiration from "professional atheist" writers and speakers... and in thinking of the cause of their condition, he blamed their experience with oppression from religious people.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Have you ever read the Psalms? Any of the wisdom books? The prophets?

It seems as if the only parts of the Bible that atheists have read are the myths and fables. The books of Moses, etc, especially the latter Moses books. That's all they ever seem to talk about. That's 100% of their focus. In fact, sometimes it seems that only atheists (or extreme Christian fundamentalists) are the only people who are even interested in the books like Joshua and Judges.

But I doubt that most Bible readers even read those as much as the wisdom books or the prophets.
The Bible is a package deal. You can't pretend the fables aren't there anymore than we can pretend that the poetry and symbolism isn't there (and we don't, by the way).

Some liberal Christians and New Thought followers largely ignore the fables and stick to the poetry, and they don't represent much of a problem for us. They are largely harmless, and while we don't think ignoring or heavily discounting huge swaths of the Bible renders Christianity a justifiable belief system, it is largely of no concern to us if you want to dabble in it selectively.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
The Bible is a package deal. You can't pretend the fables aren't there anymore than we can pretend that the poetry and symbolism isn't there (and we don't, by the way).

Some liberal Christians and New Thought followers largely ignore the fables and stick to the poetry, and they don't represent much of a problem for us. They are largely harmless, and while we don't think ignoring or heavily discounting huge swaths of the Bible renders Christianity a justifiable belief system, it is largely of no concern to us if you want to dabble in it selectively.
The Bible is a "package deal". You are giving it as much authority as any Christian does now. Don't you see that?

This attitude makes it look as if atheists are unable to distinguish between different parts of the Bible. They lump everything together the way that a fundamentalist might do. And they speak of the entire collection with the same negative attitude, as if all the writers were of one mind and were in agreement with each other.

To me it seems as if the prophets were criticizing people who followed Moses. It also seems that some of the New Testament writers were doing exactly the same thing.

An atheist might say, well why didn't they make themselves more clear then? That would be a very stupid question because anything more explicit in its meaning would never have made it into the canon in the first place. Don't they understand that? So, sometimes atheists seem to be very confused and unable to think rationally about the Bible.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:51 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
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Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
On the other hand, I have no hard feelings against any organized religion, but if you ever see my posts on the Judaism and Islam forum you will see that I really criticize people who think their religion is better than others and brag about it.
The fact that you can criticize the act of asserting that one's religion is better than another's religion, as opposed to being only capable of criticizing religion as-a-whole, undercuts your credentials as a fundamentalist atheist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
It seems that many of my fellow Atheists suffered from religious indoctrination when they were young and maybe that has led them to have anger against mainstream religions, especially Christianity.
A reflection, I suspect, of the fact that most people you know are no doubt Americans (or Europeans) and the United States is grievously afflicted by Dominionism. Therefore, the harm you know of will be concentrated around that stemming from fundamentalist Christianity. Furthermore, fundamentalist Christianity in the United States is prompted by Dominionism to engage in random acts of hubris, compounding the harm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
If there even is such a thing as "fundamentalist atheism," it almost certainly came about as a counterbalance to fundamentalist religion.
Counterbalance? Only in the sense that "an eye for an eye" makes everyone see everything more clearly (i.e., not at all). The proper "counterbalance" to fundamentalist religion is the promulgation of interfaith.

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Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
It should be remembered that, even today, being an atheist is akin to admitting to being a serial killer among some circles.
Very true, but those who regard non-believers in such a manner make no distinction between fundamentalist atheists and moderate atheists, so fundamentalism within atheism doesn't serve any constructive purpose with regard to the reasoning you are trying to put forward. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
The fact of the matter is: One cannot counter the encroachment of fundamentalism into the political arena by remaining nice, mild-mannered, well-behaved atheists.
Incorrect. If anything, fundamentalist atheism's main impact is to alienate enough potential allies among moderate believers as to harm the chances of interfaith acceptance gaining ground against Dominionism. The most effective means by which fundamentalist Christianity can lose ground in the United States is the growth of liberal religion. Maybe atheists can hope that it is a pathway to atheism, but regardless of that, if the aim is to counterbalance fundamentalist Christianity, then the best tool is simply showing the harm from, and the lack of foundation for, fundamentalism itself, regardless of whether it is fundamentalist Christianity, fundamentalist atheism, or fundamentalist whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
Despite this having occurred almost a thousand years ago, the remnants of this horrific time still exist in the form of ISIS, the misogynistic rules of Saudi Arabia, honor killings in Afghanistan, among other examples that we're constantly hearing about on the news.
Yet it does not inform the conclusion you were trying to prove, above. It's the non sequitur fallacy.

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Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I'm with you up to this point. ...but not on this point. How can people forget the communist USSR and China? It's amazing how people can cherry pick.
How can you forget the crusades? The Inquisition? Those were explicitly fundamentalist Christian horrors, while you're raising the matter of communism, within which atheism was only a tangential aspect - surely not good examples of fundamentalist atheism. I think your antipathy for communism, itself, is making you perceive the harm it represents much more grievously than it objectively warranted, by comparison. To be fair, we've been indoctrinated as Americans to think that way. It's another flavor of fundamentalism that afflicts our perceptions. I don't think most Americans understand, yet, how to be opposed to communism without engaging in over-the-top, irrational demonizing of it.

Regardless, I was comparing the harm of fundamentalist atheism and fundamentalist Christianity in 2015 America. I'm sorry that that wasn't clear to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
The Bible is a package deal.
Or, either the Bible is a package deal or it isn't, and if it isn't - if discretion and ongoing revelation are legitimate enough to construct a defensible sub-packaging of the Bible, then that legitimizes all discretion and ongoing revelation in that regard, including that which includes the spiritual wisdom of Hinduism, Taoism, Wicca and Native American belief systems along with whatever is selected for inclusion from the Judeo-Christian heritage, and even including that which discards the entirety of the Bible for foundations for beliefs and values that are wholly original. Fundamentalism is often, from rationality's standpoint, its own worst enemy by resorting to selective interpretation to justify its chosen beliefs and values, regardless of the fact that in doing so they're effectively nullifying whatever claim to credibility fundamentalism itself may have ever had.

Last edited by bUU; 11-02-2015 at 04:14 AM..
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Some think that the Bible was talking about that universal force that you mention.

Of course, the stories are fiction. But the point is that they were referring to something very real. That's another way of viewing the Bible. We don't have to look at it in the fundamentalist way, especially if that was never the intent of the writers. Or even some of the writers. That's something that atheists don't see to acknowledge.
We don't have to look at it in any way at all if we agree that the Bible is unreliable and there is no really good evidence for anything other than unplanned physical/material effects without volition. It is not something that can be disproved, but it not something we need to. Those who claim some sort of cosmic intelligence need to produce some convincing evidence.

Without that I don't see why it is so important we have to take this claim seriously.

Btw. In picking one of the dozens of quotes from Einstein making it clear that he had no belief whatsoever in any of the organized religions, their Holy books or personal gods,I came across a site with 'What I'd say to Einstein'. A rather self -serving page in which Einstein's "God" -idea is used as a basis for a lot of 'Just suppose' appeals in order to get to Christianity.

I found it rather amusing because this bloke was flogging a long dead horse. What I'd say to Einstein is one word. "Quantum".

Thus this "God" idea of his (remote as it is from organized religion) depended on his belief that Quantum was wrong and that "God does not play dice".

Well, Quantum is proven and Einstein was wrong about this and persistently wrong because he invested Faith rather than reason in this idea. He should now face up to the fact that some kind of intelligent ordering of the cosmos is an invalid faith -claim and Einstein should now be moving towards a better understanding of the atheism he rather unfairly deprecated rather tha towards any one of the organized religions.

P.s it is rather amusing, now i think of it, that quantum itself is used as get another arguments for God. Because nothing can be sure about reality (so the argument goes) anything could be true and so God is as likely as not.

This is of course, rubbish as what science knows is repeatably reliable no matter what quantum foam is doing. It doesn't matter that atoms are made of a near to nothing as makes no difference. The effect of the physics is that slugging you with a hammer is as effective as if each atom was a solid lump.

The bottom line or the trick is that Religious apologetics whether for God or for a cosmic Mind /sortagod depend not on the evidence but on a lot of misleading debating tricks in order to fool people into misunderstanding how to look at the evidence.

One of these is false appeal to authority, and appealing to Einstein is a fine example of this. It is not only false because it cunningly and craftily equivocates Einstein's use of the term 'God' to make it seem that he was a Bible -believer, but his expertise in Physics is misused to try to impress people with this already misused claim of his being a Bible-God believer. Even if he was, his expertise in physics in no way makes him an expert on whether a god exists.

In that respect of course, he had some stony things to say about atheists. well, as I since he should now admit he was wrong and should at least today have admitted that his idea of a intelligently ordered Cosmos could well be wrong, he ought to give atheism a bit more credit for perhaps being right.

And so should the peddlers of Gods, whether agnostic sortagods or the personal gods of the religions.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 11-02-2015 at 05:20 AM..
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
The Bible is a "package deal". You are giving it as much authority as any Christian does now. Don't you see that?

This attitude makes it look as if atheists are unable to distinguish between different parts of the Bible. They lump everything together the way that a fundamentalist might do. And they speak of the entire collection with the same negative attitude, as if all the writers were of one mind and were in agreement with each other.

To me it seems as if the prophets were criticizing people who followed Moses. It also seems that some of the New Testament writers were doing exactly the same thing.

An atheist might say, well why didn't they make themselves more clear then? That would be a very stupid question because anything more explicit in its meaning would never have made it into the canon in the first place. Don't they understand that? So, sometimes atheists seem to be very confused and unable to think rationally about the Bible.
I'm finding it hard to understand what you are getting at.

The Bible can be looked at any way you like - history, myth, literature, poetry, political polemic, analogy or spiritual metaphor.

Whichever way you look at it is does not do a single thing to validate a cosmic intelligence, let alone a personal god of the Christianity type.

Don't you get it? I am no more falling for this 'Maybe the Bible is hinting at a sorta cosmic intelligence' than i am falling for 'Did you hit your car engine blip just now, maybe it is hinting that fairies are real'.

It is just an irrelevance.

Next up..the Atheist Professor in myth and history..
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
The Bible is a "package deal". You are giving it as much authority as any Christian does now. Don't you see that?
No, I am not giving the Bible ANY authority. Including the faux authority that comes from cherry picking the parts that are pleasing to me (or you).
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
This attitude makes it look as if atheists are unable to distinguish between different parts of the Bible. They lump everything together the way that a fundamentalist might do. And they speak of the entire collection with the same negative attitude, as if all the writers were of one mind and were in agreement with each other.
I am perfectly able to tell the Pentateuch from the minor prophets from the gospels. And I am perfectly able to understand that the Biblical canon is a human contrivance and in fact it is not even the same for protestants and Catholics. That said, the Catholic canon is a superset of the protestant canon and it is fair to say that the protestant canon represents what Christianity as a whole -- including even liberal Christianity -- accepts as a holy book with a unified identity. Therefore if you want to arbitrarily decide -- as most fundamentalists ultimately do -- that the parts that flog the holiness and wrath of god are more important than the parts that flog the grace and mercy of god or that don't tell a narrative story, you are on no better or worse basis than a liberal who decides that the parts that are poetic and non-narrative or that emphasize god's mercy and grace and man's yearning for god rather than his wretchedness. Or an atheists who feels that it's virtually all BS.
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Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
An atheist might say, well why didn't they make themselves more clear then? That would be a very stupid question because anything more explicit in its meaning would never have made it into the canon in the first place. Don't they understand that? So, sometimes atheists seem to be very confused and unable to think rationally about the Bible.
If god is all powerful and all knowing and all loving then he has unlimited ability to be clear without having to be concerned about the politics of the canon or even the vagaries of the written word.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
If god is all powerful and all knowing and all loving then he has unlimited ability to be clear without having to be concerned about the politics of the canon or even the vagaries of the written word.
But don't you understand that god reveals himself differently to different people?

Only a boring god would have one clear unified message for humanity. With only one clear message from god, we humans would have no reason to fight over religion. And that'd be no fun.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:26 AM
 
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Default Eintein and the atheist professor

In talking about Einstein of course one recalls the famous story of Einstein and the atheist professor.

Quite apart from being reminded of if in the recent spin of a Christian teacher (or so she says) as an atheist professor because her assignment apparently offended some God-believing students.



“Does evil exist?”

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!"

"God created everything? The professor asked.

"Yes sir", the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil".




… The student then debunks the professor’s argument arguing that dark and cold do not exist – they are an absence of light and heat, and


“To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down."

The young man's name — Albert Einstein
.

This is a false argument of course, even aside from the belief in a satan who is a gofor God in doing the evil he does, or is at least permitted to do it, but it is false because it is the argument from evil and the inability of God to simply put it right is never convincingly explained.

But this isn’t the main point The point is this: For those looking for a quick answer to the question of whether this item is literally true, we'll state up front that it is not. Nothing remotely like the account related above appears in any biography or article about Albert Einstein, nor is the account congruent with that scientist's expressed views on the subject of religion (in which he generally described himself as an "agnostic" or a "religious nonbeliever"). Einstein's name has simply been inserted into an anecdote created long after his death in order to provide the reading audience with a recognizable figure and thus lend the tale an air of verisimilitude

In fact Einstein was made the Christian student rather later than the story’s apperarance. Not just for verisimilitude but to falsely appeal to Authority. “You can’t disagree with what the greated modern scientist said, can you?”
The atheist professor myth is an urban legend, often told through chain emails, in which an atheist professor attempts to disprove the existence of God and is subsequently embarrassed and shamed by a wise Christian student in front of the whole class. Despite the strawman nature of the professor and the fallacious arguments used by the student, especially the claim that evil is the absence of God, this myth has become quite popular among Christians for decades and variations of it predate the internet. The most famous variation claims the student to be a young Albert Einstein. (rational wiki)

This example of the version without Einstein is notable (apart from the well poisoning characterization of the professor) for a variant of the ‘see the wind' fallacy


The Christian looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out in laughter. The Christian points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain...felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?" No one appears to have done so.
The Christian shakes his head sadly. "It appears no-one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science, the professor has no brain."
The Atheist Professor

The fallacy is of course that the wind, the brain and indeed evolution can all be proven by evidence without anyone having to ‘observe’ it whereas the evidence presented for God falls down under examination.


At one time these Atheist professor tales were quite common. I first came across it in an adaptation to a Jack Chick cartoon strip arguing against evolution in a way that looked wrong at the time (see 2 pics) and is refuted now. The foreflippers of the whale are the ones that evidence evolution and validate the land –leg origins of the hind ones, even if they are used for something else now (which incidentally refutes irreducible complexity..losing organs that are not needed is also perfectly good evolution, too) and the polystrates had other explanations even at that time and now the discovery of fossil polystrate trees growing on others totally refuted them as evidence for a flood, which is what they were supposed to do and only by a chain of inference could be used to refute evolution.


So the rest of comic strip with the atheist professor taking down the portrait of Darwin and admitting that he was wrong and the Christian student explaining that because mankind killed Jesus we have a soul just leaves us wondering who would ever look at a Jack Chick tract other than for a good laugh

The nasty story of a christian marine punching an atheist in the mouth ("God was busy, so he sent me") is sometimes recast as an 'Atheist professor' story.

This 'atheist professor' is a rather different type of deception. It is the 'I used to be an atheist - like you...until...'
Now, of course, tit could be that some of these stories are not true. They know we can't check very easily. There are many examples of the same story ("someone who was near death is right as a trivet the next day and the doctors had no explanation" is a favourite)
So maybe it is true - this atheist converted. But the reasons were bad ones. I'll give this extraordinarily bad reason in full.
"When she asks for reasonable works on the resurrection of Jesus, she is given N. T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God, 740 pages of scholarly examination. She reads Lewis’ Surprised By Joy, and Does God Exist? by Kreeft and Moreland, among others.
Both Ordway and C. S. Lewis were credentialed professors of literature before becoming Christian. Both were committed atheists who had created intellectual defenses against belief in Jesus. Later in her story, Ordway writes, “I read through the Gospel narratives again, trying to take in what they said. I had to admit that — even apart from everything else I had learned — I recognized that they were fact, not story. I’d been steeped in folklore, fantasy, legend, and myth ever since I was a child, and I had studied these literary genres as an adult; I knew their cadences, their flavor, their rhythm. None of these stylistic fingerprints appeared in the New Testament books that I was reading.” (p.117)
So here we have a trained, experienced, atheist professor of literature, who if anything knows a myth when she sees it, declaring that it is not such, but rather “The Gospels had the ineffable texture of history, with all the odd clarity of detail that comes when the author is recounting something so huge that even as he tells it, he doesn’t see all the implications.” (p.117) Like Lewis, who was a professor of literature at Oxford and Cambridge, Ordway made the conclusion of an expert in literature, that the New Testament has all the signs of an eyewitness account.”
https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.co...mes-christian/

The badness of this argument is totally misdirected method of evaluating whether the stories are true or not. The way they are written. The wealth of detail.."W.S Gilbert in the Mikado cleverly put it this way Pooh-Bah. Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
In other words, a pack of lies.
When the only valid method of deciding whether they are convincing or not is to consider the discrepancies and whether the stories can possibly be taken as reliable.

The fact is that most people don't do this and do seem to either reject the resurrection as unbelievable miracle or accept it as miracle or not, the accounts are reliable.

That is why I am arguing for study of the text and the realization that anyone not determined to reject the obvious conclusion must come to. The resurrection stories are utterly contradictory and demonstrably invented.

Thus, even if this account is true, it is a terribly bad reason to be converted.

But then they all are. Peter Hitchens converted because of a dislike of communism and a fearsome painting of hellthreat.

An atheist blogger became converted through seeing morality (a bad argument in itself) as not only from God but as a godlike entity in itself.

O Hair's son turned to religion because he was impressed by what a difference it made to their lives. Even if one accept the premise that being religious makes everything so much better, that does not make it true. That is not a good reason in itself to convert.

I have never, ever, come across anyone who converted who did it for the only reasons that should matter - that it could be shown to be true.
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Albert Einstein on fanatical atheists-chick1.gif   Albert Einstein on fanatical atheists-chick2.gif  

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 11-02-2015 at 08:40 AM..
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