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Theism - The feel in your head

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Comments

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,673

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?

    Simple: we don't. Given that the Old Testament was a fan fiction of Sumerian texts - all its author(s) did was switching names and a handful rewrites, really. Luckily for them they lived in an age that didn't have the concept of copyright infringement.

    FinneousPJ
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,368

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    You mean besides the written records of His sermons? Your first question is also extremely easy to answer. If your religion is centered around a written theology, then your religion cannot contradict that theology and still be considered "true" by its own definition. Its like someone claiming to be vegan, but they regularly eat meat. It just doesn't track.

    FinneousPJ
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    ThacoBell said:

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    You mean besides the written records of His sermons? Your first question is also extremely easy to answer. If your religion is centered around a written theology, then your religion cannot contradict that theology and still be considered "true" by its own definition. Its like someone claiming to be vegan, but they regularly eat meat. It just doesn't track.
    So there is a single correct way to interpret the bible? You should let everyone know, currently there is huge confusion around it.

    How do you know the written records are accurate in the first place and especially after all this time?

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    JLee said:

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    This reminds me of Kabir:
    "The men of old
    Took all they really knew
    With them to the grave.
    And so, Lord, what you are reading there
    Is only the dirt they left behind them.”

    One problem with almost any scripture from any religion is that we rely upon the level of understanding of disciples, theologians, and scholars to transmit the teachings. How much did they really glean from the teachings? How much did their own bias and conceptual framework sneak in to their interpretation, maybe even subconsciously? On top of that add the distortion of translations, metaphors misdiagnosed as histories, politics, etc. and we end up being unable to really know what they originally intended.
    Thus, the 33,000 sects of Christianity. http://thecompletepilgrim.com/many-churches-denominations-america-world/

    These 33,000 are subdivided into "6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs", and ordering them by denomination size we have (I am rounding up or down slightly for convenience, using year 2000 figures) :

    Independents (about 22000)
    Protestants (about 9000)
    "Marginals" (about 1600)
    Orthodox (781)
    Roman Catholics (242)
    Anglicans (168)
    So the 33,000 number is from the total of these 6 mega-blocs:

    22000 + 9000 + 1600 + 781 + 242 + 168 = 33,000+

    That's where the 33,000 figure comes from.
    This is from the "World Christian Encyclopedia".

    FinneousPJ
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,368

    ThacoBell said:

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    You mean besides the written records of His sermons? Your first question is also extremely easy to answer. If your religion is centered around a written theology, then your religion cannot contradict that theology and still be considered "true" by its own definition. Its like someone claiming to be vegan, but they regularly eat meat. It just doesn't track.
    So there is a single correct way to interpret the bible? You should let everyone know, currently there is huge confusion around it.

    How do you know the written records are accurate in the first place and especially after all this time?

    I mean, we trust ancient records when it comes to how people used to live. So why would the Bible be any less trustworthy when it comes to recorded culture?

    As for the interpretation, I'll give you one example. The Bible explicitly says to pray to no one but God. The Catholic church somehow decides that praying to saints is okay. There are a lot of examples like this, and if you are interested, its really easy to look into.

    FinneousPJ
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    ThacoBell said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    You mean besides the written records of His sermons? Your first question is also extremely easy to answer. If your religion is centered around a written theology, then your religion cannot contradict that theology and still be considered "true" by its own definition. Its like someone claiming to be vegan, but they regularly eat meat. It just doesn't track.
    So there is a single correct way to interpret the bible? You should let everyone know, currently there is huge confusion around it.

    How do you know the written records are accurate in the first place and especially after all this time?

    I mean, we trust ancient records when it comes to how people used to live. So why would the Bible be any less trustworthy when it comes to recorded culture?

    As for the interpretation, I'll give you one example. The Bible explicitly says to pray to no one but God. The Catholic church somehow decides that praying to saints is okay. There are a lot of examples like this, and if you are interested, its really easy to look into.
    I'm more interested in how we find out the truth than what a specific sect believes. You didn't really answer that. How do you know which interpretation of the bible is correct when there are many? That is, when the bible often isn't very explicit.

    I didn't say whether the bible is more or less trustworthy than other 2000 year old books. I'm asking how do you know whether it is or is not trustworthy?

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    edited December 2018
    LadyRhian said:

    JLee said:

    @ThacoBell: If you want to pin down where exactly Catholicism really began or what Christianity really teaches, please do so in the religion thread.

    That raises an interesting point. How does one decide whose doctrine is correct? How does know what Jesus really taught, if anything?
    This reminds me of Kabir:
    "The men of old
    Took all they really knew
    With them to the grave.
    And so, Lord, what you are reading there
    Is only the dirt they left behind them.”

    One problem with almost any scripture from any religion is that we rely upon the level of understanding of disciples, theologians, and scholars to transmit the teachings. How much did they really glean from the teachings? How much did their own bias and conceptual framework sneak in to their interpretation, maybe even subconsciously? On top of that add the distortion of translations, metaphors misdiagnosed as histories, politics, etc. and we end up being unable to really know what they originally intended.
    Thus, the 33,000 sects of Christianity. http://thecompletepilgrim.com/many-churches-denominations-america-world/

    These 33,000 are subdivided into "6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs", and ordering them by denomination size we have (I am rounding up or down slightly for convenience, using year 2000 figures) :

    Independents (about 22000)
    Protestants (about 9000)
    "Marginals" (about 1600)
    Orthodox (781)
    Roman Catholics (242)
    Anglicans (168)
    So the 33,000 number is from the total of these 6 mega-blocs:

    22000 + 9000 + 1600 + 781 + 242 + 168 = 33,000+

    That's where the 33,000 figure comes from.
    This is from the "World Christian Encyclopedia".

    Hence the old adage,

    "They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong."

    That's why the most interesting question is not what do you believe but how do you know it's true.

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,108
    The problem with any old text that was translated and copied over and over for millennia is how many translation and copying errors were introduced in the texts through the ages.

    Trusting the accuracy of the translation of a transcribed copy of a text centuries after it was written is not comparable to finding a contemporary text, often inscribed in stone depending of region and era, describing some cultural event. Actually we have some interesting examples where two sides of a war describes some famous battles in completely different ways but I don't want to go too far off topic.

    KamigoroshiFinneousPJ
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,368
    @FinneousPJ I ask you, what makes the Bible any less trusworthy than any other ancient writing? You know, the stuff that archaeologists rely on for much of the cultural information of ancient cultures.

    The things that separate Catholicism and Christianity isn't some obscure interpretation. Catholicism flat out violates cases where the Bible LITERALLY say, "Do this." Or either is completely absent from the book. Again, my vegan analogy covers what I'm talking about if you are having trouble understanding.

    FinneousPJ
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 756
    edited December 2018

    Hence the old adage,

    "They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong."

    That's why the most interesting question is not what do you believe but how do you know it's true.

    Personal experience and deductive reasoning.

    That is, I experience X. X should not happen because the book says Y. Therefore, the book must be wrong. Because the book is wrong, a theory must be created to explain the presence of the experience X. The theory throws most religious precepts out the window.

    BUT, the theory was founded on experimental observation. And experimental observation trumps everything else in science.

    FinneousPJmlnevese
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,673
    mlnevese said:

    The problem with any old text that was translated and copied over and over for millennia is how many translation and copying errors were introduced in the texts through the ages.

    Trusting the accuracy of the translation of a transcribed copy of a text centuries after it was written is not comparable to finding a contemporary text, often inscribed in stone depending of region and era, describing some cultural event. Actually we have some interesting examples where two sides of a war describes some famous battles in completely different ways but I don't want to go too far off topic.

    Precicely. But mistranslations are only part of the problem. The context of that collaborate work had also actively gotten edits throughout the ages. By anyone in power, at that. Which isn't really a surprising thing either. Given that rulers have an inkling of rewriting history as they see fit.

    The phantom time hypothesis for instance, while also not flawless, raises rather interesting points. According to it we now live in the year of A.D. 1718 rather than A.D. 2018. And all because of a tiny little edit from good ol' Pope Sylvester II and Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. Surely not as famous as the Da Vinci Code roman, but fascinating nontheless.

    FinneousPJmlnevese
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ I ask you, what makes the Bible any less trusworthy than any other ancient writing? You know, the stuff that archaeologists rely on for much of the cultural information of ancient cultures.

    The things that separate Catholicism and Christianity isn't some obscure interpretation. Catholicism flat out violates cases where the Bible LITERALLY say, "Do this." Or either is completely absent from the book. Again, my vegan analogy covers what I'm talking about if you are having trouble understanding.

    @ThacoBell Again, I didn't say the bible is less trustworthy than any other old book. I'm asking how do you know whether any old book is or is not trustworthy. You're being evasive!

    I'm talking about all the 33 000 denominations, not just Catholicism. How do you know which of them is right, if any? Do you follow any of them? How do you know what you think the bible says is correct and everyone else is wrong?

    Hence the old adage,

    "They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong."

    That's why the most interesting question is not what do you believe but how do you know it's true.

    Personal experience and deductive reasoning.

    That is, I experience X. X should not happen because the book says Y. Therefore, the book must be wrong. Because the book is wrong, a theory must be created to explain the presence of the experience X. The theory throws most religious precepts out the window.

    BUT, the theory was founded on experimental observation. And experimental observation trumps everything else in science.
    I'm not sure I understand, but on an abstract level I don't agree. Personal experience X is a poor reason to conclude Y is wrong. Your personal experience might be wrong (you didn't experience what you thought you did or you made an error in judgment for example).

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,763
    I don't really think that starting with the question of how you can be sure a religious text is accurate is appropriate. Doing that immediately leads you into the problem of distinguishing between thousands of interpretations - "not all of which can be true".

    It seems to me that religion is necessarily an act of faith to begin with. Any religious text will then be interpreted in the light of that faith - which is why so many interpretations of something like the Bible are inevitable. If you believe to start with you could dismiss any textual inconsistencies as being irrelevant to the greater truth as you understand it and, if I were religious, that's the route I would take.

    Alternatively you could take a more fundamentalist line and say that everything written is the literal truth. However, to me that approach is self-defeating as it requires you to ignore logical inconsistencies within religious texts themselves, quite apart from the obvious departures from scientific evidence.

    mlneveseFinneousPJThacoBell
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,108
    edited December 2018
    If everything written was literally true we would have a huge problem with hundreds of religions with written texts many of which are older than the Christian faith.

    Post edited by mlnevese on
    FinneousPJ
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    @Grond0 Most sophisticated religious people wouldn't admit to that, however, because faith is obviously a very poor method of arriving at beliefs. Faith can lead one person to believe X and another person to believe not-X. You can take any position on faith, making it an extremely weak foundation.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,763

    @Grond0 Most sophisticated religious people wouldn't admit to that, however, because faith is obviously a very poor method of arriving at beliefs. Faith can lead one person to believe X and another person to believe not-X. You can take any position on faith, making it an extremely weak foundation.

    I'm not sure you're correct about the perceived power of faith - "faith can move mountains" and all that. I also think it's really the only method at which you can arrive at genuine religious belief (as opposed to indoctrination that hasn't yet been questioned):
    - logic has been tried, but ultimately it doesn't work. If you go back to the origin of the universe a question often raised is "what came before the Big Bang" with the intention of demonstrating you still require a greater power. However, that's a circular argument as you can see by posing the similar question "what came before God".
    - scientific evidence gives no reason to believe in God.
    - personal experience of "the Road to Damascus" type may be a powerful motivation, but I would class this as faith. Effectively what's being said is that someone's experience may be more real to them than any opposing logic or evidence and can give rise to a spiritual conviction (faith by another name).

    FinneousPJBalrog99
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    I would hope that if a person acknowledges faith is a poor method (as I demonstrated) they wouldn't use it to arrive at beliefs.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694

    I would hope that if a person acknowledges faith is a poor method (as I demonstrated) they wouldn't use it to arrive at beliefs.

    Once faith comes into it, reason generally goes out the window. Scientists who are religious never seem to apply reason towards the faith they believe in.

    FinneousPJmlneveseBalrog99
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    LadyRhian said:

    I would hope that if a person acknowledges faith is a poor method (as I demonstrated) they wouldn't use it to arrive at beliefs.

    Once faith comes into it, reason generally goes out the window. Scientists who are religious never seem to apply reason towards the faith they believe in.
    In that case I hope they concede to being irrational.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I think some of them do. Or it's faith of, "I just believe in God, which makes me want to explore his creation." sort. i.e. generalized faith, not based on a book

    FinneousPJmlnevese
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    mlnevese said:

    If everything written was literally true we would have s huge problem with hundreds of religions with written texts many of which are older than the Christian faith.

    @mlnevese I think he meant "everything written in MY HOLY BOOK is literally true" lol

    mlnevese
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Then there are the problem with numbers in the Bible. Not the book "Numbers", but in the Bible, PI is exactly three, and there is at least one place in the Bible where casualties from the same battle are gives as 3,000 and/or 33,000. Given that so many Christians say that the Bible is perfect and can't be wrong, when you tell them these things, their eyes kind of cross as their brain explodes.

    Or how about the battle where the power of God is defeated by iron chariots? The Bible states outright that the enemy won "because they had iron chariots". Try getting them to reconcile that with an all-powerful God who can defeat anything... except iron chariots, according to the writers of the Bible...

    FinneousPJmlnevese
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,388
    Regarding the reliability of ancient texts: historians generally consider the context of the work, the biases of the author(s), and the degree of corroboration by outside sources before judging the relative reliability of a text. There's more to the Bible than just its age and the mere presence of biases, and not all of it is necessarily false or so unreliable as to be uninformative. As a historical text, it does have a role in explaining certain events, and while we may balk at accounts of this or that miracle, it does contain details on real, non-supernatural events and figures like Moses and Jesus.

    Typos have crept in over the centuries, people have made slight changes to the text to correct real and imagined mistakes, and even the original authors had their own biases, of course, but that holds true for any text (and the original bias thing is present even in modern texts). For the historian, the question is not "is the Bible reliable or not?" so much as "which parts of the Bible are how reliable?"

    ThacoBell
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    @semiticgod Moses probably didn't exist and even the biblical Jesus is rather questionable. AFAIK very little in the bible is corroborated by other sources.

  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited December 2018

    @semiticgod Moses probably didn't exist and even the biblical Jesus is rather questionable. AFAIK very little in the bible is corroborated by other sources.

    The Bible is quite an important historical record with a great many people confirmed by outside sources. The beleif side of things is up to you but the people and places it references are generally quite accurate.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biblical_figures_identified_in_extra-biblical_sources

    #waytoomuchbiblestudy

    semiticgodFinneousPJBalrog99ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,368
    @FinneousPJ The question semiticgod asked was the differences between Chritianity and Catholicism. My response was in the context of that. Bible says x, but catholicisim does y in its place. How I "know" the Bible is true is an entirely different question, one that I was not addressing.

    @LadyRhian The Bible pretty clearly says that whenever the Israelites lost a battle, it was because they had previously disobeyed God.

    As for the numbers thing, they could easily be symbolic or simply a symptom of different counting systems. Look up how different ancient cultures recorded years and such, its pretty interesting. One example has (I want to say either Sumerian or Babylonian, I can't recall off the top of my head) recording their kings as reigning for hundreds of years at a time.

    Grond0FinneousPJ
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455

    @semiticgod Moses probably didn't exist and even the biblical Jesus is rather questionable. AFAIK very little in the bible is corroborated by other sources.

    The Bible is quite an important historical record with a great many people confirmed by outside sources. The beleif side of things is up to you but the people and places it references are generally quite accurate.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biblical_figures_identified_in_extra-biblical_sources

    #waytoomuchbiblestudy
    @voidofopinion Right, and neither Moses nor Jesus is there...

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ The question semiticgod asked was the differences between Chritianity and Catholicism. My response was in the context of that. Bible says x, but catholicisim does y in its place. How I "know" the Bible is true is an entirely different question, one that I was not addressing.

    @ThacoBell I see. How about addressing it, then?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,388

    @semiticgod Moses probably didn't exist and even the biblical Jesus is rather questionable. AFAIK very little in the bible is corroborated by other sources.

    The Bible is quite an important historical record with a great many people confirmed by outside sources. The beleif side of things is up to you but the people and places it references are generally quite accurate.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biblical_figures_identified_in_extra-biblical_sources

    #waytoomuchbiblestudy
    @voidofopinion Right, and neither Moses nor Jesus is there...
    The majority of the figures there are kings, and the rest are almost all authorities of one kind or another. I don't know why the Romans would remember an executed rebel, or why the Pharaoh would commemorate an escaped slave. I'm not surprised they don't show up; they were both very minor figures outside of Christendom.

    ThacoBell
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    @semiticgod So based on what did you call them "real, non-supernatural events and figures like Moses and Jesus"?

This discussion has been closed.