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Old 01-03-2018, 11:29 AM
Status: "...We are closing in..." (set 17 days ago)
 
32,590 posts, read 7,841,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafius View Post
..

What 'historical evidence'? Oh wait! I remember...the Church fathers wasn't it?

..
As I recall, weaving contradictions together with some invented material to make the Gospels work (1), 'the disciples would not die for a lie' and referencing various Authorities that he claimed agreed with him.

(1) or rather in that case,contradiction of Acts 9 23-5 with Paul, II Cor. 11 32.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-03-2018 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
As I recall, weaving contradictions together with some invented material to make the Gospels work (1), 'the disciples would not die for a lie' and referencing various Authorities that he claimed agreed with him.(
Yes...that was it. 'The disciples wouldn't die for a lie'...and when asked for evidence that the disciples even existed much less died, we had the old Church fathers wheeled out with blankets over their legs, protesting loudly about being woken from their afternoon slumbers by someone unable to different between fact and confirmation bias.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:18 AM
Status: "...We are closing in..." (set 17 days ago)
 
32,590 posts, read 7,841,693 times
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Yes. You may recall a protracted wrangle about the resurrection where I argued that IF the accounts were reliable (they aren't) a Plot to get Jesus off the cross alive is what it has to be - and with Pilate's connivance, too. In fact that was what I thought for a long time until I clicked that the accounts had been fabricated separately.

But mainly it was about Paul claiming (rather absurdly) that the reason Aretas sent his army to occupy Damascus was to get his hands on Paul, who fled the city. In fact this was just part of the Nabatean territorial expansion involved in the war with Antipas and taking advantage of the death of Tiberius. Caligula simply couldn't care less who occupied Damascus. With the assassination of Gaius and the accession of Claudius, the new Syrian governor (was that Vitellius?) ejected the Nabateans.

So Paul looks a bit odd with his claim that He was the object of the Nabatean army and his fleeing of what was merely a take -over of the city, makes him look even odder.

But that wasn't good enough for Luke, who wanted to blame the Jews (as usual). So he wrote that Paul escaped Damascus because of a Jewish plot to kill him. In order to Weave Together the stories. The Jewish plot involved some kind of deal with the Nabatean general. There's not a shred of evidence of this but..since both accounts must be true, then any explanation will do.

This is the way contradictions are explained away. We saw this with Eusebius and his arguments for Noah's Ark. Any problem was explained away with anything that even sounded like an explanation (nb the famed freeze -dried eucalyptus leaves (1) or the grass -seeds surviving in a shallow layer of mud on the mountain -side (not that this would solve the problem of what the animals would eat, when there was nothing to eat - the desperate apologetic of a supply of rotting corpses for the carnivores is another example) and in the end it was simply denial. 'It says so in the Bible so it must be true'. There is some explanation, but we don't know what it could be. That there is no possible explanation that can work - not even God doing magic - is rejected. Essentially, if it is in Paul and Acts, the army of Aretas and the Jewish plot must be the same Thing, and a likely or plausible explanation (even if simply made up) sounds better than 'I have no explanation - but there must be one". - anything rather than admitting a contradiction really exists.

(We know don't we, that 'There are no contradictions - they simply don't understand', translates as 'There are no contradictions - if you have faith that there are not'.)

You may also recall the appeal to Authorities. Bible scholars, as I recall. I asked to have a look and eventually got some quotes about Paul - which (as I pointed out) were nothing to do with Damascus or the vision on the road, which was the other problem I was pointing up.

Damn' I have to explain that one now..well. Paul nowhere refers to the Road to Damascus incident - which is never really questioned. What it looks like is that Paul, after going to Damascus to sort out Christians spent some time in the Arabian desert and became a convert. There's a lot he isn't saying, but I'm not going to guess. Then when Aretas invaded, he went back to Judea. Or at least Antioch. But he claims that he got his message not from men (the apostles) but from divine sources. But the only hint of this is II Cor. 12.1 where he has messages (the someone caught up to the third heaven is of course himself) that he effectively argues out with wonky logic and misused OT quotes in Romans. The fellow is really not to be trusted with your money, but the point is that there no suggestion that the conversion on the road to Damascus is anything but Luke's invention.

Mike objected to this using the 'just because Paul doesn't say it, doesn't mean it didn't happen' argument. But, rather like the omission of the transfiguration in John or indeed the raising of Lazarus by the Synoptic gospel, or the appearance of the risen Jesus to Simon by anyone but Luke (2) it makes no sense that Paul wouldn't have referred to the initial appearance of Jesus on the road to Damascus but only to a later visit to the 3rd heaven.

But again, even if they can't be made to look like the same event, there is some explanation, even if the apologist can't think of it; because, 'if it is in the Bible, it must be true'. That was when I got the reference to Paul by various Bible -scholars which under examination, had no relevance to Damascus or Paul's conversion. When I pointed that out...well you may recall a tendency to Flounce Off.

Mind I though Mike a damn' good apologist and he made me think and gave me some good ideas.

(1) incidentally, the vid he posted that we thought was himself explaining the idea to a Creationist conference wasn't him. I don't know who it was, but the Freeze -dried food store wasn't his own idea. Nor was the inflating mountains hypothesis to explain where the water went to.

(2) Paul's biographer, inventing and adapting just he sees fit. And note that the only reference to Jesus appearing to Simon..is in Paul's letters. 1. Cor 15. 5. Damn me, it all fits together perfectly. Each clue explains the other problems. Not that the Christian Experts ever mention the problems even if they noticed them.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-04-2018 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafius View Post
Yes...that was it. 'The disciples wouldn't die for a lie'...and when asked for evidence that the disciples even existed much less died, we had the old Church fathers wheeled out with blankets over their legs, protesting loudly about being woken from their afternoon slumbers by someone unable to different between fact and confirmation bias.
Quite apart from that ... there's the wee problem that people die all the time for reasons not related to god or religion -- often for patently ridiculous causes and unworthy persons. Humans are not rational -- they do all sorts of stupid things. So this claim that no one would die for a lie, is ITSELF a manifest lie. Even in the realm of religion it's often a lie, unless they want to say that the Branch Davidians or the followers of Jim Jones died for a TRUTH. Are we to give those ideologies a second look just because people died for them? Are fundamentalist Christians even remotely inclined to do so? No, I didn't think so.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:50 AM
Status: "...We are closing in..." (set 17 days ago)
 
32,590 posts, read 7,841,693 times
Reputation: 4590
Yes. It's an interesting bit of evidence, not for Christianity but for a sort of blinkered thinking. If it seems to help the christian apologetics cause then it's used ad nauseam, and it is never thought that it equally applies to all other religions. It never occurs to them even when you point it out several times. You really do feel that you are talking to a one way brain that Outputs all the time, but never listens. The explanation is of course Faith that it is True. The firm conviction that it true on Faith is why the burden of proof falls on the atheist, that the Bible must be true, no matter how daft or contradictory it sounds, that any evidence for Christianity doesn't count for other religions, because Christianity is true and those others are not.

Oh yes -and why the 'Which God?' argument is considered irrelevant.

And if you ask how they know or don't they realize that is special pleading, they will stare at you in genuine puzzlement. They really cannot understand how a world works that is not based on a Faith -based God -belief.
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