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Thank you mm12! I did a little online research and there are multiple explanations for the differences in Jesus' genealogy. Now it makes sense.
If you could help me with another problem I have. Are we suppose to kill adulterers or not? The new testament says one thing and the old testament another. Which is right?
Order of mag:
"Are we suppose to kill adulterers or not?"
You're supposed to kill them, but you mustn't be the one to throw the first stone. If they're soldiers raping captive women after sacking a city on the instructions of Jehovah, I think you should turn the other cheek. And of course, the rules about adultery don't apply to anyone called David, Lot or Abraham. Does that make it clearer?
@an_order_of_mag I think your question is a fairly standard question asked by those who are not familiar with Christian doctrine. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you are being genuine.
The basic Christian doctrine is established by Jesus of Nazareth with his claim to establishing a new covenant for all people and not just the people of Israel. Moses established the Law (called Mosaic Covenant) for the nation of Israel which contained civil laws and civil penalties. Israel was a theocracy. Jesus abolished those civil penalties while adultery is still a sin. Christianity and its moral laws exits outside the theocracy of the nation Israel and established no civil penalty. Essentially, all the civil law of the Old Testament is gone. That's a rudimentary, but it should get you by in a pinch.
I have a few other thoughts that you might find interesting: If you are attempting poke wholes in Christian theology to establish that it is false, I'd say that the best you could hope to do is prove the modern Bible is unreliable or that the Christian concept of God is wrong. That would do nothing to prove there is no God.
I would suggest that it would make more sense for you to attack some of my other claims. Maybe you could question my belief that God caused the universe to begin or my belief that only nihilism makes sense if there is no God. Or maybe you are attempting to assassinate my character or point out a perceived inability of mine to not think clearly and logically.
One final note. Maybe you are asking real questions that you would like answers to. If so, I think both of our question could have been answered with an honest reading of the text yourself. I don't think you need some layman like me to explain basic theology.
Still preforming mental gymnastics I see; told us proof is impossible, then suggesting it is something your opponents should engage in.
Am I wrong? What's your argument against that statement? Let's just assume that I mean "non-mathematical proof". Would that be ok with you? What was your name again? Mr. Semantics?
Oh, I get it. You are that token guy from the peanut gallery.
@mm12 about adultery
It makes sense to me now. We are supposed to stone the modern adulterers because it is required in the old testament and Jesus said in the new testament Mathew 3:18 "for, verily I say to you, till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law, till that all may come to pass." And beside it is only fair to stone the modern adulterers just as the ancient ones. Again thank you!
"And beside it is only fair to stone the modern adulterers"
Many modern adulterers are stoned. Others are just drunk.
@an_order_of_mag I think your theology is very poor. You make very basic mistakes. I won't spend much time arguing it, because its obvious to me that once I explain something in a rational way you'll ask for another. I can explain them until the end of time and you will still hold to your presuppositions. There are plenty of other resources out there for you to consult to answer the very basic questions
"I wouldn't even begin to attempt to show that God answers prayers. My point is that if he has the properties that I explained, there is no good reason that he couldn't -- not that he should or does."
I'm sure there was lots of praying during the black death, the St. Bartholemew Day Massacre, the destruction of Dresden... God obviously thought there was no reason to answer any of those prayers. Prayers from the sick and disabled at Lourdes also go unanswered. So what use is god? And why is it male?
@Algebe Again I'm not making any argument for whether or not God should or does answer prayer. I'm simply saying that he could. I think it would be arrogant of me to think I know when God should answer prayers based on my desires.
Maybe he did think there was no good reason to answer those prayers in the situations that you mentioned. The concept that God should be some sort of "heavenly wish granter" to serve humans is foreign to me. My question to you is why does it even matter? If we are "bones and chemicals" why do those terrible things you mentioned even matter.
I use the personal pronoun "he" as a simple descriptor. It's my opinion that God is not a male or female. Jesus appeared as a man as he walked the earth.
So you've relegated god to the "prime mover" just before the Big Bang. You've said that it doesn't seem to consider answering prayers worthwhile. You sound like a member of the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent, as described by Kurt Vonnegut in "Sirens of Titan. So why not take the next step and dismiss god altogether? It's about as useful as a chocolate kettle--sweet and comforting, but utterly useless for the intended purpose.
"If we are "bones and chemicals" why do those terrible things you mentioned even matter."
We are bones and chemicals, but we are also feelings and thoughts. We are self-aware and aware of those around us. We have empathy. So those calamities matter to us. The extinction of some or all of us might not matter to the universe (or your god), but as humans we perceive meaning in each life lived and lost. Do you believe that meaning is dependent on a deity?
@Algebe I think you misunderstood what I said.
-- God's ability or lack there of to answer prayer is not part of my argument. I can't make a good case for either position. How I feel about prayer is a personal matter
-- If he does answer prayer, it would be at his pleasure and not mine or anyone elses. It would be arrogant to think I know which prayers to answer.
Yep, I agree we have feelings and thoughts, but aren't those feelings and thoughts just chemical reactions going off inside our head? Nothing more. I think Neitzsche described it better than I can. Basically he says, without god it's vain to think there is meaning in our existence.
I think you nailed it when you said, "...we perceive meaning in each life lived and lost." Your value of life is only perceived and has none outside of your perception.
Of course, you can construct you own purpose of life. I hope you do.
"Basically he says, without god it's vain to think there is meaning in our existence."
Then what is god apart from a symbol of your desire for meaning? That need is just another emotion, and that's the limit of god's reality.
@Algebe This seems nonsensical to me. Maybe you could clarify?
I'm saying that you (and every other deist) either invented god, or assimilated a god that some other human being created, to fulfill your personal desire for meaning. I'm saying that god does not exist independently of you. Is that clear enough? We all wish for meaning, cosmic justice, an afterlife, etc., but wishing doesn't make it real.
You are right. Wishing doesn't make it real. On the same token, ignoring the evidence doesn't make it not real. See below for two sets of evidences that make, at least, the concept of God more probable than not.
While neither of them prove God (in a mathematical sense), they do lend great probability along with additional arguments and evidences that I'd be happy to share with you.
The question of God is not a scientific question but a philosophical one. I'm certain that I can never convince you no matter how good my evidence, but at least it gives you something to think about. And I do appreciate your rigor.
"I use the personal pronoun "he" as a simple descriptor. It's my opinion that God is not a male or female. Jesus appeared as a man as he walked the earth."
That wasn't what I meant. I think god is represented as male because it's the product of a bronze-age patriarchal society. It's sky-daddy, a.k.a., our father which art in heaven.
I would disagree with your assertion. I've already outlined why "sky fairy" doesn't work.
"I've already outlined why "sky fairy" doesn't work"
What you said was "I don't know of anyone who believes in a "sky fairy" these days. I'm sure someone does, its just not a mainstream religion."
That's not an explanation. I'd characterize the personal god worshipped by the majority of theists as a supernatural being who lives in the sky and does magic, like Tinkerbell. Hence "Sky Fairy." God was also created in the image of a bearded patriarch from a clan of bronze-age goat-herders. Hence "Sky Daddy." These names express exactly the way that most theists think of god. It's good to be precise when naming things, isn't it. The names are not respectful, but then most theists don't seem to show much respect for people of other faiths or no faith.
Ok. Maybe so. That's not the God I worship nor is it the God I think that is demanded by reality.
"nor is it the God I think that is demanded by reality."
Ok. So what aspects of reality demand the existence of a god?
@Algebe Well, I covered a couple of aspects of this already. Here's a recap:
- If the universe has a cause, there is a God.
- If there is objective morality, there is a God.
There are a few more, I think. You have engaged the "morality question" somewhat, but I think you only established that its wrong to kill babies for fun because you perceive it to be wrong.
"- If the universe has a cause, there is a God."
If the universe has a cause, we don't know what it is. That's no reason to invent a god. It's a reason to find the answer. I'm no physicist, but I think the causes and effects of universes are more complex and subtle than a Newtonian billiard table. God is just an aspirin for the headache we get when we try to think about quantum mechanics.
"- If there is objective morality, there is a God."
Why? Is there an objective reality to the words we use to communicate? If I write the word "elephant" you know what I'm talking about. How does that work? As we all use language, it evolves. Each of us influences it a little bit and is influenced by it. If human morality has an objective reality, I think it works in the same way. It spreads from mind to mind with our language and through our societies and cultures. God is superfluous. We ourselves are the creators, transmitters and receivers, and network nodes of objective morality.
-- It's a simple matter of deduction. What ever caused the universe to begin has to be: Outside of time. Outside of space. Very powerful. And personal. Those are four requirements. What does that sound like to you? Can you think of other criteria that would satisfy how the universe came into being? Some people think it was aliens. I say most any theory besides the one I understand violates Ockham's razor.
Additionally, I would say that quantum mechanics can't explain the beginning and itself didn't exist before time. If you think quantum mechanics caused the beginning of the universe that's just intellectual laziness as is just proclaiming "I don't know". Myself, Michio Kaku, and Einstein would take you to task on it.
-- All that you just said doesn't make morality objective. The problem comes when you have whole societies killing others that they deem are inferior. Based on your theory, that would be ok because the "objective network" deems it ok. I reject that, and insist that human beings have a value that no other human being can reduce for their own ends. I can give you real life examples if you can't think of any.
Those are not deductions, they are postulates.
Does not follow, anyone can set up a silly objective morality: all heffalumps are evil, for example.
@Nyarlathotep Here you go. Let me know if you have any real discussion.
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause;
2. The universe began to exist;
3. The universe has a cause.
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. God exists.
Maybe the more formal expression of my arguments will help you.
LOL absolute fiat.
@Nyarlathotep Time to put up or shut up.
Point 1: Why is it probably false? Can you show me something that begins to exist that doesn't have a cause? I challenge you!
Point 2: The best evidence we have shows that the universe began to exist. Here's a few points to consider:
1. General Relativity - Einstein even said himself that believing in his own theory forced him to believe in God.
2. The Big Bang - the finite beginning of the universe had to have a cause. It is impossible for something that begins to not to have a beginning and therefore a cause.
3. Second law of thermodynamics - the universe will die a heat death as it expands to fill the vacuum of space.
4. Hubble's discovery of the red shift - The universe is without question expanding from a single point.
5. Alan Guth's (et al) discovery that any universe that has been expanding cannot be eternal and must have an absolute beginning.
Point 3: Yep. So, its sometimes ok to kill babies for fun?
It depends on what you are willing to accept as a cause. Are you willing to accept pure chance as a cause of an event?
I don't care what Einstein's opinions on god were. I also don't care if he liked Coke better than Pepsi.
Here you are just restating your previous postulate.
The universe is not expanding into a vacuum. Also a red herring: a heat death does not imply a beginning.
Red herring : while the statement is true, it does not support your conclusion.
I assume you are talking about the famous BGV paper? If so you are mischaracterizing it. The findings of that paper were that inflation alone is not enough to describe this precursor universe.