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Author Topic: We don't need no stinkin' evidence  (Read 5436 times)
jonzr
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« Reply #60 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 09:53 »

Take this smack talk to the Mensa section.

No shit.
Y'all truly whipped out the thesaurus and the Wikipedia in forming your arguments.

Bravo, I say!  Bravo!   clap clap eck02 eck02

Ahem.  Did you consult wikipedia in studying for the bar?  Some of us do this kind of thing for a living.

Rejected out to half court.  Somehow, I knew that comment wasn't sliding by uncontested.

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Preacherman0
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« Reply #61 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 09:54 »

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stamped out by the orthodoxy (a ridiculous notion as there is very little demonstrable continuity even among early church fathers with respect to fundamental elements of doctrine) who saw them as a threat to hegemony.  

This is a point worth making.  The early church fathers were often trying to sort through scripture, teaching, theology, history, etc. in an effort to make sense of Christ and the Christian faith.  Their focus was on a geniune search for truth, beginning with a basis of faith of course.  They wrote and discussed and debated and studied with open, honest hearts and minds.  That is an element far too often missing in modern Christian thought.

Let me add some thoughts that are beyond the original post.  The bottom line is that I do believe Christian faith is more than myth, more than a set of rules/regulations, more than just "another religion" in the scope of world history.  I would LIKE to believe that this is based on more than just the way I was raised, and to some degree is based on thoughtful study and investigation.  I am fully aware that nurture cannot be removed from the equation, but I hope that I've not relied solely on that to arrive where I am in knowledge or faith.  I see something distinctive in Christianity that is often missed by Christians themselves, something that makes us all better and challenges us to be more than we are.  I think that Pensod, Jonzr, Whitmer and perhaps others are confident that human beings can do this for themselves.  I am not.  

Once again, this does come down to the fact that faith is required; however, I am not sure that true Christian faith (or perhaps any religious faith) are as devoid of reason and thought as some might argue.  There is such a thing as thinking faith, and it is not quite as far off the depend as some non-believers might think.  As I have said before, one of the infuriating things about the modern church is that it has allowed Christianity to devolve into this thing called orthodoxy (right belief) and puts far too much emphasis on orthopraxy (right practice, of course).  As in, "If you do these things, it makes you a good Christian."  The list of orthopraxy is often painfully short and misses the most critical elements.  This also fails to recognize the role that thinking, reason, and serious inquiry should play in faith and life.

For example, some members of my particular church would consider me a heathen because I watch football, sample various beers, have a taste for Kentucky bourbon and have come to enjoy a good merlot.  They question why I listen to jazz or Dave Matthews or--on occasion--AC/DC in my office instead of Christian contemporary all the time.  They are "concerned" that I am (at the least) sympathetic to the theory of evolution; therefore, I might "poison" their children in some way.  What they fail to realize is that these are the least of things that make me less of a Christian.

The real problem is when I ride by the homeless person and do nothing.  It's when I am frustrated at the phone call in the middle of the night when someone is in need.  It is my general unwillingness to put aside my own wants in order to meet the needs of others.  I think that there is a serious limit to the human ability to put these things in their proper place.  I believe that Christ and Christianity--with or without the institutional church--challenge us to do that.  I do not see how that is a bad thing for our society as a whole; and I believe that more people would find faith if Christians did more of that and less of whatever it is we do these days.

To sum up, I would say that Christianity surely requires faith in something unseen and unproveable.  However, I do not think that someone is necessarily ignorant/needy/dependent/lacking in intellectual capacity because they have faith.  Pensod, faith and rational thought certainly have a point of departure, but that point is much further down the line than you are acknowledging.
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leighclay
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« Reply #62 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 10:46 »

Take this smack talk to the Mensa section.

No shit.
Y'all truly whipped out the thesaurus and the Wikipedia in forming your arguments.

Bravo, I say!  Bravo!   clap clap eck02 eck02

Ahem.  Did you consult wikipedia in studying for the bar?  Some of us do this kind of thing for a living.

Rejected out to half court.  Somehow, I knew that comment wasn't sliding by uncontested.



No offense dudes.  I would never mean to suggest you didn't know that of which you speak.
You obviously do, and I'm impressed beyond words.
This is the most intellectual discussion I've been a part of since law school.


Check that...maybe even prior to law school.  Some of our discussions weren't all that intellectual or even intelligent... blink

Mea culpa.  Just don't make me have a My Little Pony avatar as punishment.

And I'll just step right back over here to the gallery and keep my mouth shut... cya

(I really did mean "Bravo".  Really.)
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jonzr
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« Reply #63 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 10:55 »

The real problem is when I ride by the homeless person and do nothing.  It's when I am frustrated at the phone call in the middle of the night when someone is in need.  It is my general unwillingness to put aside my own wants in order to meet the needs of others.  I think that there is a serious limit to the human ability to put these things in their proper place.  I believe that Christ and Christianity--with or without the institutional church--challenge us to do that.  I do not see how that is a bad thing for our society as a whole; and I believe that more people would find faith if Christians did more of that and less of whatever it is we do these days.

Compassion and self-sacrifice are wonderful qualities.  Heck, one could probably argue that they are necessary qualities for humanity to have made the progress that it has.  But we don't need religion as a basis for or to explain either.

To sum up, I would say that Christianity surely requires faith in something unseen and unproveable.  However, I do not think that someone is necessarily ignorant/needy/dependent/lacking in intellectual capacity because they have faith.  Pensod, faith and rational thought certainly have a point of departure, but that point is much further down the line than you are acknowledging.

You're right, there's a point of departure, I'm sure we can all agree with that.  And I'm not even sure that it matters where on some line that the point of departure occurs.  There is a wide continuum of believers - those who support a completely literal interpretation of their holy texts to those who take from same that one only need believe, and then start drawing their own conclusions.  The question isn't really where the line is drawn but why it is in the first place.  IMO it's because of one's environment and indoctrination from an early age.  You said, "I am fully aware that nurture cannot be removed from the equation, but I hope that I've not relied solely on that to arrive where I am in knowledge or faith."  I'm afraid that if you were born in Afghanistan there's a 99.44% likely hood that you'd be quoting the Koran and praising Allah.  And if you were born in Minnesota you'd likely be a Lutheran and not a Calvinist.

Anyways, I don't want this intelligent design stuff taught in the public school system.  It's indoctrination.  And the people trying to shove it through have an agenda and I'm skeptical that benevolence lies at the heart of it.

Yes, let's give our children a broad exposure to history, sociology, art, music, literature, philosophy, math and science.  Religion has a place in there, too.  I'm sure it bears a mention in various places among the first six areas listed above but keep it out of the last two, please.  And keep out the doctrine.
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jonzr
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« Reply #64 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 11:00 »


And I'll just step right back over here to the gallery and keep my mouth shut... cya


Gosh, you don't have to do that.  See there, penso?  Yer egghead done scared leighclay, ya bully!  Ya college boys, spending all yer momma's money on whiskey and fancy word dictionaries.

 Grin
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #65 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 12:31 »

Quote from: preacherman
I cannot go along with your assessment of early Christian/church history.  The faith was alive, and even thrived, for 300 years as a combination of a variety of people.  There were the few survivors who were actually with Christ

If you believe the Acts of the Apostles is reliable history, sure.  But there is no compelling internal evidence to do so; there were many such Acts of various figures, both Christian and Pagan, circulating well before, during, and after the time of the composition of our canonical Acts; which, by the way, is not likely to have been earlier than 80 c.e., and can quite strongly be argued for closer to 200 c.e., making it a close contemporary of Philostratus' Life of Apollonius of Tyana, just one such example of "discredited" messianic literature.

Quote
Jews who survived the Roman defeat of Jerusalem uprising in 70 ad;

Would these be the same jews responsible for such writings as The Gospel of Thomas?

Quote
The Christian faith was certainly much more than a rich housewife hobby, and it flourished in spite of brutal persecution and outright hatred from the wealthy and powerful.

Depends of the emperor.  Sometimes they were persecuted, sometimes not. 

Quote
After Emporer Constantine converted (311-313) the story of course took a very different turn.

And from whom, I wonder, did Constantine learn his Christianity?

Quote
it took hundreds of years to get to that point, and some would argue (as I do) that Christianity was better off as an "insurgency" than it was as a part of the establishment.

Most Fundamentalist or Evangelical chrisitians I have known (and I have known a great many, I spent several years as a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and even preached from the same pulpit as R.M. McCheyne once had) believe that a return to "early" or "primitive" christianity would please god to no end.  Then again, I wonder how they'd feel if their wives were required to shave their heads, like those early churches in Asia Minor.


Quote from: Preacherman0
The early church fathers were often trying to sort through scripture, teaching, theology, history, etc. in an effort to make sense of Christ and the Christian faith.  Their focus was on a geniune search for truth, beginning with a basis of faith of course.

We'll have to disagree here, too.  The early church fathers were looking for a uniformity of practice first and doctrine second; witness Paul's confused (and confusing) letters; he's clearly trying to hold the various churches together with doctrinal duct tape and chickenwire, even to the point of esentially admitting that Jesus was a figurative, not a literal, persona.  (Hebrews 8.4; the proper translation reads, "If he had been on earth, he would not have been a priest"; the conservative translations give, "If he were on earth", a subjunctive sense not supported by the past indicative verb in the Greek.  Paul, it would seem, didn't believe Jesus had been on earth, at least not when proselytising his fellow Jews.)  Their search was for an institutional stability that could withstand rival cults and the not-infrequent persecutions from local and Roman authorities. 

Quote
As I have said before, one of the infuriating things about the modern church is that it has allowed Christianity to devolve into this thing called orthodoxy (right belief) and puts far too much emphasis on orthopraxy (right practice, of course).  

This, my friend, is the history of the church in toto.  It is not a new phenomenon.

Quote
Pensod, faith and rational thought certainly have a point of departure, but that point is much further down the line than you are acknowledging.

Religion does have its rational elements; Augustine, far and away the most important of the early church thinkers, is scripture in an Aristotle-shaped box. And his mother was pretty devout, too, even when ol' Augie was nicking pears out of the neighbor's orchard. 

Then again, when your beginning assumptions are incorrect, then so are your conclusions, no matter how sound the logic in between.


FWIW, this was post number 6,666 for me.   angry4
« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2009 at 12:34 by pensodyssey » Logged

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leighclay
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« Reply #66 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 12:47 »

We'll have to disagree here, too.  The early church fathers were looking for a uniformity of practice first and doctrine second; witness Paul's confused (and confusing) letters; he's clearly trying to hold the various churches together with doctrinal duct tape and chickenwire, even to the point of esentially admitting that Jesus was a figurative, not a literal, persona.  (Hebrews 8.4; the proper translation reads, "If he had been on earth, he would not have been a priest"; the conservative translations give, "If he were on earth", a subjunctive sense not supported by the past indicative verb in the Greek.  Paul, it would seem, didn't believe Jesus had been on earth, at least not when proselytising his fellow Jews.)  Their search was for an institutional stability that could withstand rival cults and the not-infrequent persecutions from local and Roman authorities. 

That part interests me immensely.  I have a book, that I have read in parts, called "Misquoting Jesus" which talks in length about the differences between what the ancient texts actually say, and what the Bible says they say.

That's part of my problem with people who take the Bible literally.  They seem to pick and choose the parts that suit them, and ignore the rest.  Not to mention that the Bible itself seems to have been assembled from the written texts that best suited the purposes of those compiling it, and not from all the information, or even the best information that was available.

I'll shut up now and leave the discussion to the learned on the subject.
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« Reply #67 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 13:01 »

Sorry, really busy today, wish I could weigh in thoughtfully.  Even yesterday was grab-bag thoughts on my part.  But I did start Misquoting Jesus, put it aside last year, and hope to take it up again soon.  Very well done, IMO.

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« Reply #68 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 13:11 »

" Proper translation" depends on what source material you use and who is translating it.  I think the Hebrews argument is akin to "if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit."

Some great reading, as I can fit it in, from Pens & Preach.  Thanks, both.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #69 on: Feb 19, 2009 at 14:42 »

" Proper translation" depends on what source material you use and who is translating it.  I think the Hebrews argument is akin to "if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit."

Some great reading, as I can fit it in, from Pens & Preach.  Thanks, both.


Proper translation depends on accurate recension of all available manuscripts, and the best reading of the old manuscripts renders the past indicative text, not any butchered later versions that emend it to make it seem as if paul is refering to himself.  This falls under the rubric of textual criticism you mentioned in an earlier post, Finny.  There are rules to Greek grammar, as there are for English grammar.  "Had been" and "were" have different meanings in conditional clauses.
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