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  1. #201
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There's been a lot of conjecture that Luke and Matthew used Mark's shorter account as a basis for their own.
    Yes an this is another reason I prefer the Gospel of Mark is that I find it more consistent with the other gospels of Luke and Mathew (where as I recall there is more inconsistencies between the two). Contemporary bible scholars tend to agree it was the first book written of the NT. Thus I find it more reliable and more accurate account of the life and teachings of Jesus.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
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  2. #202
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Fixed.
    (The specific name is "The Revelation of John.")

    Have you been reading Josh McDowell again?

    Jesus pretty much refused to offer miracles to people who demanded a sign... he told them the only sign they would be given (essentially his death and resurrection, in traditional interpretation).

    Miracles are funny things.

    it's plausible, and would help support his message.

    I have no way to tell that, 2000 years later, though.
    Yeah, this is what I have been struggling with. I wish we did have some sort of divine validation. 2000 years is a long time, and the Church went through so many changes; growing large, powerful ritualistic and corrupt, and then splintering into hundreds of competing sects, all using the same texts to say they are the true Christians and everyone else is wrong.
    We have basically been left "out there", with no solid evidence, and subject to having our beliefs compared to invisible pink unicorns fairies and flying spaghetti monsters, and the arguments stick. (And then, all of evangelicalism argues that God will judge all nonbelievers because "He has shown them the truth" (Romans 1, parts of John 1 and 3, etc; through both "general revelation" and "personal conviction"). Yet it sure doesn't seem so self-evident, other than just the notion of design.
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  3. #203
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    the notion of design.
    And just as a watch has a watch maker, the world has a world maker.

    But alas, the world is not a watch.

  4. #204
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And just as a watch has a watch maker, the world has a world maker.

    But alas, the world is not a watch.
    I hope you know you're going to Hell.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #205
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Yeah, this is what I have been struggling with. I wish we did have some sort of divine validation. 2000 years is a long time.
    Yeah I know how you feel...its kinda feels like "The Second Coming of the Great Prophet Zarquon" who only shows up at the end of the universe to say "Sorry I'm late."

    This is proof that if there is a second coming of Christ then Christ is in fact a P contrary to conventional wisdom that Jesus is a J.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I hope you know you're going to Hell.
    It's true - I threw away my watch.

  7. #207
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Your main argument with respect to religion is as follows, at least as I understand it. A very small portion of Christians sincerely and fundamentally accept the authority of the Bible, most do not. However, out of this small group, an overwhelming majority show a marked ethical improvement in their lives?
    This is close to my argument. My argument is that Christians who see an improvement in behavior accept the authority of the Bible and engage in "costly" behavior. E.g. they do things they normally would not because they believe it is the "will of God".

    We don't have to make a decision based on the information above, we can postpone the decision until the mroe suitable information arrives. Only by doing so will we be able to avoid making an inductively weak argument.
    I agree. The study I was basing my argument on only applies to the modern US. If you want to apply my argument to all of history then we may find it's true or we may not. Without more information all either of us can do is speculate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft
    And let's touch on it: what constitutes this "improvement"? Christianity teaches that turning the other cheek, being meek in spirit, etc., are desirable traits, and that learning to embody these traits constitutes improvement. It goes on to provide quips and philosophical advice on how to achieve this state. Naturally, (some) fervent adherents of Christianity begin to embody these traits, which Christianity posits as positive, and report that they've "improved".

    On the other hand, people like Nietzsche and Ayn Rand assert that these are not positive traits, and offer contrasting philosophies. Just like Christians, people who adhere to these philosophies will begin to embody the traits that these philosophies speak in favor of, and also report that their lives have "improved".

    Christianity and the above philosophies stand in stark contrast to one another, right down to their takes on the existence of a deity. Yet they are all efficacious by their own standards.
    All of this is tangential to my argument, but I will quickly give an answer. "Good" behavior is defined based on the context of the belief system. An Objectivist is going to define "good" behavior differently than a Christian. Therefore it should not be surprising that a different philosophy yields different results. Objectivist teaching yields different behavior than Christianity, because it is based on different principles.

    What would be interesting is to study the Objectivists who change their behavior vs. those that do not. The Objectivists who change their behavior would be following correct principles, while those who don't would not be following correct principles.

    There are correct principles for those who want to "love others as much as themself". There are different correct principles for those who want to get ahead at any cost. Furthermore the people who are most effective in getting their desired results will be those who believe in the correct principles.
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  8. #208
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    All of this is tangential to my argument, but I will quickly give an answer. "Good" behavior is defined based on the context of the belief system. An Objectivist is going to define "good" behavior differently than a Christian. Therefore it should not be surprising that a different philosophy yields different results. Objectivist teaching yields different behavior than Christianity, because it is based on different principles.

    What would be interesting is to study the Objectivists who change their behavior vs. those that do not. The Objectivists who change their behavior would be following correct principles, while those who don't would not be following correct principles.

    There are correct principles for those who want to "love others as much as themself". There are different correct principles for those who want to get ahead at any cost. Furthermore the people who are most effective in getting their desired results will be those who believe in the correct principles.
    This is common sense, and it undermines your central argument. Objectivists don't believe in God. Christians do. Both philosophies are, in their separate ways, effective. Following the logic of your argument, this dictates that their tenets are correct. Obviously, they can't both be correct.
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  9. #209
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    This is common sense, and it undermines your central argument. Objectivists don't believe in God. Christians do. Both philosophies are, in their separate ways, effective. Following the logic of your argument, this dictates that their tenets are correct. Obviously, they can't both be correct.
    It seems to me that Liquid Laser is not trying to prove that God exists; in other words he is not inferring that God exists from the claim that believing in God influences the lives of the believers for the better in the ethical respect. He is merely arguing that if a person truly and fundamentally believes in the Christian God, his behavior will improve in the moral light. This conclusion is perfectly consistent with the claim that God does not exist and the people who improve their moral character by believing in Him are living an illusion. In other words, it could be the case that what improves the ethical character of these people is not God's grace, but mind-states that are purely internal to their psychology. Liquid Laser is not in the position to deny this claim if he is to avoid your charges and I'd be surprised if he does indeed deny it in the future; however, to be fair to him he clearly hasn't yet. To salvage LL's position, these religious mind-states are not exactly like the placebo effect: the religious mind-states are similar to genuine medication in the regard that they are therapeutic, or they compell people to think in a different manner. In short, the religious do not simply say 'I want to be better!' and shortly thereafter they experience improvement, there is an external cause of their change (the therapy) despite the fact that this cause is not God.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LL,

    I find your conclusion unpersuasive which was as I understand; in the present day the majority of people who accept Christianity start behaving better. What about the rampant hypocrisy of preachers and priests who have been known to engage in pederasty. Are they the minority? Are they immoral for reasons other than Christianity? Seems doubtful to me because if they were corrrupt from the beginning, they wouldn't have won the sympathy of enough people to become holders of such great religious authority. What about Christian zealots who bomb abortion clinics? Are they mere heretics who do not truly and fundamentally accept the Christian doctrines? If so, how can you defend that claim? The 'true and proper' interpretation of scripture is an extremely obscure subject-matter
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  10. #210

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    What about Christian zealots who bomb abortion clinics?
    What about them?

    They are about as representative of Christianity as Stalin's Gulags, the Nazi Holocaust or French Revolutionary Terror are of reason, science and athiesm. Unless those things are connected. Is that what you're saying?

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