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Skeptical Challenge

DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
missmedic
Posts: 390
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9/5/2015 6:52:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
When researching, one relies on reliable sources that are peer reviewed, and cites those sources as support. Christians often do this with the Bible, treating it as a reliable source that has been "peer reviewed" by its authors. The Bible is viewed as the truth and the guide to reality, thus quoting from it is like a scientist quoting from a scientific journal. The difference is that the scientific journal can be criticized, reviewed further, and even refuted at some point. The Bible is not refuted as it requires its followers to maintain the Bible as a source of truth. If the Bible had plenty of outside sources to support its miracles and events then it would be credible. Christians see the Bible as truth and treat it as truth, so when someone says "you can't just use the bible as a source" the answer is "but that is my source, because it has the truth." By believing in it as the truth, and by not allowing any change or refutation to take place, the Bible is always seen as truth whether it is or not. Saying "stop using the bible as a source and use something else as a source" cannot be done, because Christianity is based on the Bible, not a system of academic peer review. The Bible fails for its lack of external support, so it relies solely on internal support. This is the same as any book that claims itself to be true regardless of any journal or review, whether it be pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology.
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desmac
Posts: 5,078
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9/5/2015 7:04:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Starting at the front, the Universe was created in seven earth days, before earth or its sun were created.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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9/5/2015 7:06:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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9/5/2015 7:08:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic?

The entire story of Jesus which is based almost entirely on pre-existing Jewish scripture with some borrowing from Greek and other cultures.

What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing.

The fact that not a single contemporary historian had ever heard of him despite all the reports of miracles, throngs of followers and the fantastic events surrounding the alleged crucifixion and resurrection. The first time we hear anything is from hearsay accounts written by religious zealots decades later.

I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.

No, you will engage in the time-honoured tradition of Christian apologetics where you will make your texts say anything you want them to.
graceofgod
Posts: 5,101
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9/5/2015 7:12:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.

I applaud your attempt but the non believers come in here to slate not learn, they are not interested in hearing the word or the truth just in petty arguments and gripes..
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 10:37:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 7:12:29 AM, graceofgod wrote:
I applaud your attempt but the non believers come in here to slate not learn, they are not interested in hearing the word or the truth just in petty arguments and gripes..

I've been doing this for nearly 20 years and I can safely say that there is some truth to what you say, but on the other hand, I have often found that the skeptical are far more inclined to approach the subject fairly and with open mind, than are the believers.

The reason for this is obvious. The believers think they know and the skeptics don't.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 11:21:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 7:08:04 AM, dee-em wrote:
The entire story of Jesus which is based almost entirely on pre-existing Jewish scripture with some borrowing from Greek and other cultures.

The first prophecy of Jesus Christ is this: "And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel." Genesis 3:15 The story of Jesus is pre-existing Jewish scripture.

Now your statement that his story was borrowed from Greek and other cultures is a common misconception of the so called skeptical, so lets discuss that. Cite some examples of Jesus' story being borrowed from Greek or other cultures, if you would please, so we might discuss them.

The fact that not a single contemporary historian had ever heard of him despite all the reports of miracles, throngs of followers and the fantastic events surrounding the alleged crucifixion and resurrection. The first time we hear anything is from hearsay accounts written by religious zealots decades later.

Skeptics often question the historicity of Jesus without realistic evaluation of the historical. First of all, the Bible is the greatest history of all. Even ardent atheists who I've encountered who were serious students of history would never question the historical significance of the Bible. All histories include myth, legends and propaganda.

The fact that there are known spurious historical references should be an indication of the reliability of secular histories such as Livy, C"sar, Tacitus, Thucydides and Herodotus. You add to that the available manuscripts and the extremely strict methods of copy, it's availability, no wonder Sir Isaac Newton said no secular history compares to the Bible when it comes to authenticity.

There, are, however, also several historical references accepted as authentic. Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius and Pliny the Younger as well as Josephus wrote of Jesus. The New Encyclop"dia Britannica: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th"centuries."

What about the James Ossuary?

No, you will engage in the time-honoured tradition of Christian apologetics where you will make your texts say anything you want them to.

[laughs] Oh . . . well it's your job, as a skeptic, to correct any of that sort of activity. I will give you some advise, though. If you want to be taken seriously by anyone other than yourself and those who agree with you, you had better offer something more substantial than simply dismissing them with nothing more than opinion, don't you think?
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,238
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9/5/2015 11:26:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 10:37:59 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 7:12:29 AM, graceofgod wrote:
I applaud your attempt but the non believers come in here to slate not learn, they are not interested in hearing the word or the truth just in petty arguments and gripes..

I've been doing this for nearly 20 years and I can safely say that there is some truth to what you say, but on the other hand, I have often found that the skeptical are far more inclined to approach the subject fairly and with open mind, than are the believers.

The reason for this is obvious. The believers think they know and the skeptics don't.

Lets start here:

According to the Bible a star is:

The Sun
An inferior point of light in the sky

According to the Bible. the Earth is:

as if under a canopy
Firmly placed
a square
hangs on nothing

According to the Bible, God is

All Good
All knowing
Vain

According to the Bible, what was the name of the pharaoh that Moses and his people escaped from?
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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9/5/2015 11:27:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 10:37:59 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 7:12:29 AM, graceofgod wrote:
I applaud your attempt but the non believers come in here to slate not learn, they are not interested in hearing the word or the truth just in petty arguments and gripes..

I've been doing this for nearly 20 years and I can safely say that there is some truth to what you say, but on the other hand, I have often found that the skeptical are far more inclined to approach the subject fairly and with open mind, than are the believers.

The reason for this is obvious. The believers think they know and the skeptics don't.

You know, this comment plus the fact that you read Frank Herbert has raised my estimation. I think you may be worthy of more respect. It's good to see a thinking Christian as opposed to some of the bible bashing drones we get here.
DavidHenson
Posts: 446
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9/5/2015 11:38:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 11:27:51 AM, dee-em wrote:
You know, this comment plus the fact that you read Frank Herbert has raised my estimation. I think you may be worthy of more respect. It's good to see a thinking Christian as opposed to some of the bible bashing drones we get here.

Frank Herbert is my very favorite author of all time. My 9th grade science teacher sent a letter home to my parents stating that I was an avid reader, only with the wrong books, though.

It was Herbert and Douglas Adams. I read both repeatedly during my school years.

But I should point out. I'm not a Christian. I'm an unbaptized student of the Bible.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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9/5/2015 11:55:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 11:38:45 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 11:27:51 AM, dee-em wrote:
You know, this comment plus the fact that you read Frank Herbert has raised my estimation. I think you may be worthy of more respect. It's good to see a thinking Christian as opposed to some of the bible bashing drones we get here.

Frank Herbert is my very favorite author of all time. My 9th grade science teacher sent a letter home to my parents stating that I was an avid reader, only with the wrong books, though.

It was Herbert and Douglas Adams. I read both repeatedly during my school years.

But I should point out. I'm not a Christian. I'm an unbaptized student of the Bible.

I certainly can't criticise your reading habits, much the same as my younger days. I would, however, like you to answer my question , posed above.
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 12:02:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 7:04:41 AM, desmac wrote:
Starting at the front, the Universe was created in seven earth days, before earth or its sun were created.

Hmmm . . . I'm trying to think of how to answer this. I wan't to do it in a way that is good for both of us. I could ask you to demonstrate why you think your estimation of the above is your interpretation, I could just point out that the Bible doesn't actually say any of that, I could show you what I mean but no matter what I say you are likely to dismiss it immediately because it doesn't reach the same conclusion you came to and because I'm an alleged believer in fairy tales.

I could give you a link to my Skeptic's Study Bible And FAQ on Genesis Chapter 1, but you wouldn't likely even look at it. . . .

Tell you what! I'll leave it up to you. If you want to elaborate on why you think the Bible says what you say it does and we can discuss it from there, provide your response in here.

If you want to check out the relevant portion of my site which directly addresses, in detail, your concerns, go to http://www.pathwaymachine.com... and respond to it here.

And if you want the article posted here, read it below and respond to it as you wish.

[Genesis 1:1] The Hebrew verb consists of two different states. The perfect state indicates an action which is complete, whereas the imperfect state indicates a continuous or incomplete action.

At Genesis 1:1 the word bara, translated as created, is in the perfect state, which means that at this point the creation of the heavens and the Earth were completed. Later, as in Genesis 1:16 the Hebrew word asah, translated as made, is used, which is in the imperfect state, indicating continuous action. The heavens and Earth were created in verse 1 and an indeterminate time later they were being prepared for habitation, much the same as a bed is manufactured (complete) and made (continuous) afterwards. (The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures - With Reverences: Appendix: 3C Hebrew Verbs Indicating Continuous or Progressive Action, page 1572. Revised 1984.)

[Genesis 1:2] The planet was a water planet, waste and empty, meaning that there was no productive land. Though the sun and moon as part of the heavens were complete, at this point light had not penetrated to the surface of the Earth. Job 38:4, 9 refers to a "swaddling band" around the Earth in the early stages of creation. Likely there was a cosmic dust cloud of vapor and debris which prevented the light from the sun from being visible on the surface of the earth.

The Hebrew word ruach, translated as spirit, indicates any invisible active force. Wind, breath, or mental inclination, for example. The Holy Spirit is Jehovah God's active force. Invisible to man but producing results. Throughout scripture it is often referred to as God's hands or fingers in a metaphorical sense. (Psalm 8:3; 19:1)

[Genesis 1:3] Here the Hebrew verb waiyomer (proceeded to say) is in the imperfect state indicating progressive action. This first chapter of Genesis has more than 40 cases of the imperfect state. The creative "days" were a gradual process of making Earth habitable.

The light was a diffused light which gradually grew in intensity. Some translations more clearly indicate the progressive action:

A Distinctive Translation of Genesis by J.W. Watts (1963): "Afterward God proceeded to say, 'Let there be light'; and gradually light came into existence."

Benjamin Wills Newton's translation (1888): "And God proceeded to say [future], Let Light become to be, and Light proceeded to become to be [future]."

The Hebrew word for light, ohr, is used. This distinguishes the light from the source of the light. Later, on the fourth "day" the Hebrew word maohr is used, signifying that the source of the light only becomes visible then through the swaddling band.

[Genesis 1:4] Light and darkness is divided between the eastern and western hemispheres as the Earth rotates on its axis.

[Genesis 1:5] Here the Hebrew word yohm translated day, indicates the daylight hours, but the term will be applied in the following verses to indicate various lengths of time. The word is used to describe any period of time from a few hours to thousands of years. (Zechariah 14:8 / Proverbs 25:13 / Psalm 90:4 / Isaiah 49:8 / Matthew 10:15)

The terms evening and morning are metaphoric. At this point there are no witnesses on Earth to a literal night and day, but there are witnesses in heaven. (Job 38:4, 7) The evening symbolizes the period of time in which the events unfolding were indiscernible to the angels in heaven. The morning symbolizes the period in which the angels could distinguish what had been accomplished. (Proverbs 4:18)

[Genesis 1:6] The word expanse is translated from the Hebrew raqia, which means "spreading out." Since the root word from which raqia comes is raqa, which is sometimes used in a sense of "beating out" some confusion has been caused by the Greek Septuagint translation of raqia as stereoma, which means "firm and solid structure" concluding when the Latin Vulgate used the term firmamentum because, at that time it was thought that there was a metallic dome surrounding the earth with sluice holes from which rain fell.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states: "But this assumption is in reality based more upon the ideas prevalent in Europe during the Dark Ages than upon any actual statements in the O T." - Edited by J. Orr, 1960, Vol. I, page 314. For example, at Job 36:27-28 the water cycle is described without any reference to the Dark Ages understanding of sluice holes.

[Genesis 1:7] In Genesis 1:6, 7 part of the water that covers the Earth is lifted to the heavens to form a water canopy surrounding the planet. This canopy was used to flood the earth during the days of Noah. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

[Genesis 1:11] The Biblical kind, from the Hebrew leminoh, Greek genos, and Latin genus, differs from the Evolutionist kind. The Biblical "kind" can be defined as divisions in which cross fertility can occur, a boundary between these kinds is drawn where fertilization ceases. Apple trees, for example, don"t produce broccoli, squirrels don"t produce horses.

In biology a kind applies to animals and plants which possess one or more distinctive characteristics, meaning the biological term kind may contain several varieties within a Biblical kind.

[Genesis 1:14] The light in Genesis 1:14 is different from that in Genesis 1:3. In Genesis 1:3 the Hebrew word ohr is used, meaning the light from the source. Light in a general sense, whereas the light in Genesis 1:14 the Hebrew word maohr is used, signifying the source of the light is now visible. See [Genesis 1:3]

The sun, moon and stars are set as a sign of the seasons, days and years. A most accurate timepiece. The use of the term "sign" is often mistaken as a reference to astrology, which is incorrect.

[Genesis 1:16] The Hebrew waiyaas (proceeded to make), from asah, in Genesis 1:16 is different than bara (create) in Genesis 1:1, 21, 27. Asah is the imperfect state indicating progressive action. The luminaries as part of the heavens had already been completed in Genesis 1:1, but now they were visible on Earth and prepared for their intended use. Asah can mean make, or appoint (Deuteronomy 15:1), establish (2 Samuel 7:11), form (Jeremiah 18:4), or prepare (Genesis 21:8). Also see [Genesis 1:1]

[Genesis 1:20] The word soul, from the Hebrew nephesh, means "breather." The soul is in the blood, the life itself, of any breathing creature. At Genesis 9:3-4, for example, the Hebrew word nephesh can be translated as life or soul.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 12:04:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 11:55:23 AM, desmac wrote:
I certainly can't criticise your reading habits, much the same as my younger days. I would, however, like you to answer my question , posed above.

Done.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
dee-em
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9/5/2015 12:11:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 11:21:48 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 7:08:04 AM, dee-em wrote:
The entire story of Jesus which is based almost entirely on pre-existing Jewish scripture with some borrowing from Greek and other cultures.

The first prophecy of Jesus Christ is this: "And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel." Genesis 3:15 The story of Jesus is pre-existing Jewish scripture.

What does this mean? You're agreeing with me?

Now your statement that his story was borrowed from Greek and other cultures is a common misconception of the so called skeptical, so lets discuss that. Cite some examples of Jesus' story being borrowed from Greek or other cultures, if you would please, so we might discuss them.

Sure. The conception of Jesus as The Word (Logos) and Son of God. Where did that come from?

The fact that not a single contemporary historian had ever heard of him despite all the reports of miracles, throngs of followers and the fantastic events surrounding the alleged crucifixion and resurrection. The first time we hear anything is from hearsay accounts written by religious zealots decades later.

Skeptics often question the historicity of Jesus without realistic evaluation of the historical. First of all, the Bible is the greatest history of all.

You must surely jest. It's a collection of texts selectively chosen by a council (from a much larger set) and these texts are basically propaganda material for the faithful and to gain new converts. How you can call the Bible, a collection of myths and legends, a history is bizarre. You insult professional historians with such a claim.

Even ardent atheists who I've encountered who were serious students of history would never question the historical significance of the Bible.

Historical significance is one thing. Asserting it is a history book is another.

All histories include myth, legends and propaganda.

No they don't. Not if they are written by professional historians, although some bias is inevitable.

The fact that there are known spurious historical references should be an indication of the reliability of secular histories such as Livy, C"sar, Tacitus, Thucydides and Herodotus. You add to that the available manuscripts and the extremely strict methods of copy, it's availability, no wonder Sir Isaac Newton said no secular history compares to the Bible when it comes to authenticity.

What an absurd claim. Is Genesis history? These are recycled creation myths from other cultures. Is the Exodus history? No, archaeologists have dismissed it as a wild goose chase. Is the story of Noah history? Too childish to even consider. Is the story of Jesus history? No-one contemporary with his alleged life ever heard of him. Don't be silly.

There, are, however, also several historical references accepted as authentic. Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius and Pliny the Younger as well as Josephus wrote of Jesus. The New Encyclop"dia Britannica: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th"centuries."

Firstly, there is huge dispute over the authenticity of some of those passages despite your denial. Secondly they say nothing on the historicity of Jesus, they just confirm early Christian beliefs. Thirdly, and most importantly, I asked for contemporary historians. That would be a fail.

What about the James Ossuary?

Oh please. It's a modern forgery and wouldn't prove the existence of the Jesus anyway.

No, you will engage in the time-honoured tradition of Christian apologetics where you will make your texts say anything you want them to.

[laughs] Oh . . . well it's your job, as a skeptic, to correct any of that sort of activity. I will give you some advise, though. If you want to be taken seriously by anyone other than yourself and those who agree with you, you had better offer something more substantial than simply dismissing them with nothing more than opinion, don't you think?

Let's see how you roll.
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 12:16:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 7:06:18 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
[Sam Harris You Tube Video]

I tell you what . . . it really, and I mean really is hard for me to listen to Sam Harris, much less take him even in the semblance of seriousness. I have a brief little story of my involvement with his organization.

I could listen to Christopher Hitchens all day, but Harris and Dawkins? Barely at all.

On the other hand, I did listen to the entire video, and I appreciate the instruction on posting videos, I was beginning to think that it wasn't possible in this format.

I'm going to return the favor and give, for your attention, a video of shorter length, of a favorite unbeliever, David Berlinski, who I could also listen to all day.

https://www.youtube.com...

See if that works.

If there was any specific points in the Harris video you would like for me to address, let me know and I will do so.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
dee-em
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9/5/2015 12:18:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 11:38:45 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 11:27:51 AM, dee-em wrote:
You know, this comment plus the fact that you read Frank Herbert has raised my estimation. I think you may be worthy of more respect. It's good to see a thinking Christian as opposed to some of the bible bashing drones we get here.

Frank Herbert is my very favorite author of all time. My 9th grade science teacher sent a letter home to my parents stating that I was an avid reader, only with the wrong books, though.

Yeah, me too. I have to go with Philip K. Dick, but I read everything sci-fi.

It was Herbert and Douglas Adams. I read both repeatedly during my school years.

But I should point out. I'm not a Christian. I'm an unbaptized student of the Bible.

Interesting. Fits in perfectly with you liking sci-fi too. :-)
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 12:21:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 12:16:21 PM, DavidHenson wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

See if that works.

That sort of pisses me off.

AH HA! I looked over the original post and I see that you use http instead of https. Let's try that.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 12:35:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 12:18:43 PM, dee-em wrote:
Interesting. Fits in perfectly with you liking sci-fi too. :-)

Oh. A-heh. Actually I despise almost all sc-fi. With the exceptions of Herbert's Dune and Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide "Trilogy," and I don't know if J.R.R. Tolkien is what one would consider science fiction? Read that stuff as well. And H.G. Wells, of course.

I find most science fiction to be the same dull and predictable quasi religious (oddly enough) nonsense. So . . . predictable, unoriginal and unimaginative.

Now Phillip K. Dick I hadn't heard of until, recently, maybe a year ago. Someone on a forum gave me a link to one of his short stories online and I thought it was fantastic, though I can't remember what it was now. I liked the film, or movie as we American persons call it, Minority Report. Have it on my website, in fact.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 1:54:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:52:12 AM, missmedic wrote:
When researching, one relies on reliable sources that are peer reviewed, and cites those sources as support. Christians often do this with the Bible, treating it as a reliable source that has been "peer reviewed" by its authors. The Bible is viewed as the truth and the guide to reality, thus quoting from it is like a scientist quoting from a scientific journal. The difference is that the scientific journal can be criticized, reviewed further, and even refuted at some point. The Bible is not refuted as it requires its followers to maintain the Bible as a source of truth. If the Bible had plenty of outside sources to support its miracles and events then it would be credible. Christians see the Bible as truth and treat it as truth, so when someone says "you can't just use the bible as a source" the answer is "but that is my source, because it has the truth." By believing in it as the truth, and by not allowing any change or refutation to take place, the Bible is always seen as truth whether it is or not. Saying "stop using the bible as a source and use something else as a source" cannot be done, because Christianity is based on the Bible, not a system of academic peer review. The Bible fails for its lack of external support, so it relies solely on internal support. This is the same as any book that claims itself to be true regardless of any journal or review, whether it be pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology.
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http://wiki.ironchariots.org...

First of all, thank you for providing such a thoughtful and articulate response. Having said that let's address the common conflict between the Bible student and the science minded skeptic.

I have found that very often people don't think things out very well, and by people I mean atheists. Uh, and believers. The other day I was on another forum and an atheist said to me, I think he must have been quite young: "If there were a global flood that killed every living thing on the planet why wouldn't any of the historians of the other nations have written about it."

Because, of course, they would have all been dead. So what you would expect to happen is that after the flood the people who survived it would spread out and all sorts of different and ever changing myth would ensue.

When we are asked a question like, what color is the sky, we tend to have an answer embedded in our consciousness which happens to be acceptable but not very well thought out. The sky is blue. Well, no, the sky is sometimes blue, sometimes its grey, sometimes black with tiny white specks, sometimes its red, and sometimes pink, I've even seen it green a couple times.

Basically, what you are saying, as much thought as you have put into it, is that if science sees some primitive paintings on a cave wall they can speculate what those paintings mean, but if the Bible tells them exactly what was going on they better avoid it like the plague if they want publishing, tenure, and most importantly - funding.

For example, if king David says in a Psalm that the average lifespan of someone in his time was 80 years and science estimates that because the lifespan was much shorter in the Dark Ages, at about 35 - 40 then it must have been so in David's time we should believe science and not David. Who lived it and needn't have speculated.

Everything, especially archaeology and the Bible are subject to interpretation. Peer review only means you have to agree with the majority in order to be taken seriously, and that can be as helpful as it is harmful.

The failed metaphysical experimentation called the theory of evolution, for example.

You say that the Bible can't be taken any more seriously than any other book of "pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology" because of its tendency to be internally sourced, but what you fail to appreciate is that the Bible isn't 1 book by one man during 1 period of time. It is 66 books by over 40 different writers over a period of thousands of years.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
b_sorelson
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9/5/2015 2:03:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free. : :'

You need to know the truth before you can understand the prophecies in the Bible. Otherwise, you will interpret them wrongly.
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 2:07:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 2:03:40 PM, b_sorelson wrote:
You need to know the truth before you can understand the prophecies in the Bible. Otherwise, you will interpret them wrongly.

The skeptical in the topic title could, by no astounding leap of imagination, be applied to those skeptical of my own interpretation, so, if you are a believer then, please, by all means, join in the discussion.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
b_sorelson
Posts: 78
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9/5/2015 2:09:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 2:07:04 PM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 2:03:40 PM, b_sorelson wrote:
You need to know the truth before you can understand the prophecies in the Bible. Otherwise, you will interpret them wrongly.

The skeptical in the topic title could, by no astounding leap of imagination, be applied to those skeptical of my own interpretation, so, if you are a believer then, please, by all means, join in the discussion.: :

It's very simple. You tell me what you think truth is, then I will tell you what truth is.
missmedic
Posts: 390
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9/5/2015 3:11:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.

How do you define truth? Religious "truths" are inherently rooted in a fixed perspective, but real truth is perspective-independent.
One only has to apply a little critical thinking to what religion puts forward to see the deception and subtle immoralities.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,641
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9/5/2015 4:14:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 1:54:50 PM, DavidHenson wrote:
Everything, especially archaeology and the Bible are subject to interpretation. Peer review only means you have to agree with the majority in order to be taken seriously, and that can be as helpful as it is harmful.

Fail, that is not how the peer review system works. There are plenty of articles that can explain the process and steps if you wish to learn.

The failed metaphysical experimentation called the theory of evolution, for example.

Fail, evolution is a fact and a theory supported across every single discipline of science that would be involved with it. The science of microbiology would not even exist if evolution were not a fact. And again, there are mountains of articles and mountains of evidence that you can sift through if you wish to learn.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
tejretics
Posts: 6,094
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9/5/2015 5:10:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 6:28:39 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
What in the Bible do you find problematic? What alleged contradictions, falsities, errors, that sort of thing. I want to hear your critique of the Bible and I will show you the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Should I critique general Biblical beliefs, or Biblical literalism (e.g. creationism, etc.)? Do you believe that the Bible is literal and inerrant?
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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9/5/2015 5:22:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The primary issues with the Bible are historical ones.

1. The gospel of Matthew says that Jesus was born in 4 B.C., while the gospel of Luke says Jesus was born in 6 A.D.

2. "Mark makes serious mistakes in his geographical references to Palestine. He knows the Galilean place names and the general relative positions of the localities, but not specific details. Hence he "represents Jesus as travelling back and forth in Galilee and adjacent territories in a puzzling fashion" (Kee, 117, pp 102 - 3). To go (as Jesus is said to in Mk. 7:31) from the territory of Tyre by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee "is like travelling from Cornwall to London via Manchester" (Anderson, 2, p 192). Again, Mark"s references to movements across the Sea of Galilee are impossible to trace sequentially. Mention of specific location near the sea are either unknown sites, such as Dalmanutha (8:10), or are patently inaccurate, as in the designation of the eastern shore of the lake as the country of the Gerasenes (5:1)" (Kee, loc cit). Gerasa is more than thirty miles southeast of the lake, too far away for the setting of the story which demands a city in its vicinity, with a precipitous slope down to the water. Probably all that concerned Mark, collecting and adapting pre-existing stories about Jesus, was that the lake and its surrounding territories, some Jewish and some mainly Gentile, was an ideal setting for journey's of Jesus and his disciples, showing how both Jews and Gentiles responded to him with faith. That place names in Mark caused perplexity among early readers is shown by the wide range of variants in the textual tradition where names occur in the gospel. Perplexity is also evidenced by Matthew, who changed Mark"s Gerasenes to Gadarenes (Mt. 8:28), Gadara being a well-known spa only eight miles from the lake." [http://www.answering-christianity.com...]

3. According to the Bible, Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Historically, Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidis, who wasn't even related to Nebuchadnezzar. Per the Bible, Belshazzar became king, but Belshazzar wasn't even king. When, historically, Cyrus took over Babylon, the BIble says Darius the Mede took over Babylon. This is -- historically -- false.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Harikrish
Posts: 11,011
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9/5/2015 5:53:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 1:54:50 PM, DavidHenson wrote:
At 9/5/2015 6:52:12 AM, missmedic wrote:
When researching, one relies on reliable sources that are peer reviewed, and cites those sources as support. Christians often do this with the Bible, treating it as a reliable source that has been "peer reviewed" by its authors. The Bible is viewed as the truth and the guide to reality, thus quoting from it is like a scientist quoting from a scientific journal. The difference is that the scientific journal can be criticized, reviewed further, and even refuted at some point. The Bible is not refuted as it requires its followers to maintain the Bible as a source of truth. If the Bible had plenty of outside sources to support its miracles and events then it would be credible. Christians see the Bible as truth and treat it as truth, so when someone says "you can't just use the bible as a source" the answer is "but that is my source, because it has the truth." By believing in it as the truth, and by not allowing any change or refutation to take place, the Bible is always seen as truth whether it is or not. Saying "stop using the bible as a source and use something else as a source" cannot be done, because Christianity is based on the Bible, not a system of academic peer review. The Bible fails for its lack of external support, so it relies solely on internal support. This is the same as any book that claims itself to be true regardless of any journal or review, whether it be pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology.
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http://wiki.ironchariots.org...

First of all, thank you for providing such a thoughtful and articulate response. Having said that let's address the common conflict between the Bible student and the science minded skeptic.

I have found that very often people don't think things out very well, and by people I mean atheists. Uh, and believers. The other day I was on another forum and an atheist said to me, I think he must have been quite young: "If there were a global flood that killed every living thing on the planet why wouldn't any of the historians of the other nations have written about it."

Because, of course, they would have all been dead. So what you would expect to happen is that after the flood the people who survived it would spread out and all sorts of different and ever changing myth would ensue.

That is faulty reasoning and can easily be dismissed historically with evidence. All the ancient civilizations that existed before the flood show continuity in their history before and after the mythical biblical flood. None of civilizations suddenly show lineage to Noah's descendants the only ones to survive the flood.

When we are asked a question like, what color is the sky, we tend to have an answer embedded in our consciousness which happens to be acceptable but not very well thought out. The sky is blue. Well, no, the sky is sometimes blue, sometimes its grey, sometimes black with tiny white specks, sometimes its red, and sometimes pink, I've even seen it green a couple times.

Basically, what you are saying, as much thought as you have put into it, is that if science sees some primitive paintings on a cave wall they can speculate what those paintings mean, but if the Bible tells them exactly what was going on they better avoid it like the plague if they want publishing, tenure, and most importantly - funding.

The Jews were preceded by more advanced civilizations. The Jews were a tribal group that was repeated invaded and enslaved by their more powerful and advanced neighbours. The so called kingdom of David and Solomon was nothing more than a small cow town.

For example, if king David says in a Psalm that the average lifespan of someone in his time was 80 years and science estimates that because the lifespan was much shorter in the Dark Ages, at about 35 - 40 then it must have been so in David's time we should believe science and not David. Who lived it and needn't have speculated.

Adam lived till 950 years, Noah was 600 at the time of the flood. He built the ark when he was 500 old. Get real. The Jews have from generation to generation struggled to stay alive because they were repeatedly invaded and destroyed by their neighbours. Today the Jews number 14 million and don't hold the world record for the longest living person.

Everything, especially archaeology and the Bible are subject to interpretation. Peer review only means you have to agree with the majority in order to be taken seriously, and that can be as helpful as it is harmful.

Archaeological interpretations are based on best practices and approved methodology including critical opinions. The interpretation of the bible are by Christian commentators and often dismissed by true biblical scholars.

The failed metaphysical experimentation called the theory of evolution, for example.

There is little metaphysical inclusions in evolution except where creationists interject with their pseudo intelligent design.

You say that the Bible can't be taken any more seriously than any other book of "pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology" because of its tendency to be internally sourced, but what you fail to appreciate is that the Bible isn't 1 book by one man during 1 period of time. It is 66 books by over 40 different writers over a period of thousands of years.
The bible is a book on theology. It is about the Jewish people and their relationship with God where natural disasters and foreign invasions were attributed to this mythical characters judgement and punishment to show His displeasure. That was the worldview held by almost every primitive society. The bible required several authors because the Jews were not known for longevity and did not live very long. More proof that the patriarchs could not have lived very long either..
DavidHenson
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9/5/2015 6:10:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 2:09:05 PM, b_sorelson wrote:
It's very simple. You tell me what you think truth is, then I will tell you what truth is.

Okay, let's start simple.

There will be a resurrection of the unrighteous. Acts 24:15

The water for the flood came from a canopy of water vapor around the earth when it was first created, allowing for protection of harmful rays of the sun resulting in much longer lifespans until the flood. After the flood the canopy was gone. Genesis 1:6, 7 / 2 Peter 3:5

The Soul is mortal. It dies. Ezekiel 18:4
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
DavidHenson
Posts: 446
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9/5/2015 6:15:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/5/2015 5:10:54 PM, tejretics wrote:
Should I critique general Biblical beliefs, or Biblical literalism (e.g. creationism, etc.)? Do you believe that the Bible is literal and inerrant?

The Bible is literal, but also incorporates parables, the metaphoric and the figurative. The challenge is to know which is which. Most often that is easy enough. The Bible is fallible. It contains spurious scriptures, contradictions, primarily having to do with copyist mistakes of a numerical nature, and anomalies in translation. Again, the challenge is to know where they are, which is also easy enough.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune