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Thread: INTP and GOD

  1. #91
    Fight For Freedom FFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, if I "knew" that Jesus existed and did and said exactly what is recorded in our modern Bible, then I might think the same as you.

    To maintain my personal integrity, however, I can't state that I "know" that about the Bible. I can choose to "believe" the Bible -- put faith in it -- but it's not at all self-evident that the Bible is what it claims to be and is accurate to that degree. It's all got to be taken on faith.

    I can still believe and commit to something that I do not "know," though.
    And do that as passionately as anyone who claims to "know" something.
    To an informed person, it would be self-evident that the Bible is not perfect. God could certainly protect some written documents, but he doesn't seem to have done that. When you look into Biblical texts and textual criticism, you will find that there's nothing neat and simple about it. Just the fact that the modern Greek Bible (the Nestle-Aland) is in it's 26th, 27th, or 28th edition should suggest that the Bible isn't absolutely perfect. I think the Bible is useful because God seems to point to it and use it at times.

    The Bible is not a constitution or the hand book for everything spiritual and everything pertaining to God. The Jesus depicted in the Bible seems to repeatedly claim to know things from speaking with and having experience with the Father, and only occasionally points to scripture. I haven't looked into this, but I think he often brought up scriptures when dealing with religious people like he was saying, "Look, even the scriptures that you like so much contradict what you're doing." Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was even literate. When referring to scripture it could've been something he heard people read in a synagogue. The story of the woman caught in adultery where he wrote on the ground is questionable cause it's not in early manuscripts, and also, writing a word or two on the ground hardly constitutes being literate.

    I think the whole heaven/hell thing is a red herring. It doesn't even matter. It's all about the Kingdom of God... which you enter as soon as you become saved. The redemptive process is ongoing and unfolding. Death is just another doorway on the same journey. I hate the way the church has seemed to separate life and afterlife into separate boxes, and focused so much on the latter.... and the former only to make sure the latter is good.

    True. But good luck convincing them otherwise. It's hard for people to get out of that mindset, esp because they don't want to. My mom's the sweetest person, but because my beliefs are not like hers, she still cries to herself and prays that I'm not going to hell. I wish I could make her feel better.
    The heaven/hell issue is strangely absent from the Old Testament. I'm not sure if its even brought up in Genesis at all, and that's supposed to be the record of God dealing with humanity from the beginning. Job is believed to be the earliest writing, and you'd think if people were in danger of burning forever, there would be a lot of stuff in there about it. Frankly, the God of the Old Testament doesn't seem to think heaven and hell is that important. He decides to adopt a few special people as his own, and then a special nation while everyone else can just go to hell. Then he decides to take his jolly good time before he brings Jesus on the scene, mean while, people are supposedly dying and going to hell.

    Dear My Follower,

    I am your God, Theos (as Mclaren calls him). Since your friends and family don't believe in me, I'll be sending them to hell to burn forever unless they happen to change their mind, which isn't very likely considering statistics and such. Since you believe in me, I'm going to save you, so you should love me for that, even though I'm a sadistic bastard that wants to--I mean needs to-- torture people for the rest of eternity. People think I'm God and I'm so great and I can do anything, but for some reason I can't stop myself from torturing people for an eternity. Anyway, remember to keep loving me so you don't burn in hell.

    Your God,
    Theos.

    P.S. Does Landover Baptist still make the "love me or burn" t-shirt? If so, you should get it. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to know everything since I'm God, but sometimes I like to pretend like I don't know stuff so I can make people get off their lazy asses and do things themselves.


    You never know.
    You're an idealist, aren't you?
    [/QUOTE]

    Somewhat. I did stop and think of all the low openness, high conscientiousness (SJ closest equivalent) people in the world whose brains cannot seem to handle too much change and don't seem to be prone to admitting they don't know as much as they think they do resulting in a lot of ambiguity with respect to the world and existential questions. I have to doubt a label implying plasticity would serve to change such people considering the strong genetic influence on personality.

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater Typhoon View Post
    Then I suppose the aforementioned process could be used. Have you come to any conclusions on your own time?
    Yes, I have come to conclusions and one of them is this. Each person has to essentially seek out God on their own. In doing so maybe you will find something about God or maybe you won't? *shrug* I could tell you about my experience in looking for God, but ultimately it is only my experience. You will find much more meaning from what you personally do (or don't) find yourself.


    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    God within the context of Judeo-Christian theology is an entity that has a personal identity, is omnipotent, omnipresent, benevolent and actively involved in the lives of people.
    Well I've talked with a lot of Judeo-Christians, and I know that there are plenty of them that do not hold this definition of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by burymecloser View Post
    I would argue that your definition of dragon is meaningless. Let's say I decide to call housecats "sabre-toothed tigers", and someone mentions that sabre-toothed tigers are extinct. I could say, "You're wrong! I have two sabre-toothed tigers at home!" Fine, according to my definition, I'm right. In every meaningful way, sabre-toothed tigers remain extinct. My definition is not useful. It's just contrarian semantics, taking a word that already has a widely accepted definition, and saying it's the same as this other word that refers to something else.

    In this case, I don't see a difference between you saying that dragons used to exist and me saying my cats are sabre-toothed tigers. Calling dinosaurs "dragons" doesn't mean that dragons used to exist, any more than calling cats "sabre-toothed tigers" means that sabre-toothed tigers are not extinct.
    I suppose it depends on where the definition comes from. I assure you that I am not making this definition up arbitrarily. If I must use the definition of dragon that comes from modern Hollywood and fantasy literature then you are correct that it would be misleading to use this interchangably with the word dinosaur. However what if my definition of dragon comes from the ancient tales about them? There are dragon stories that come from a wide variety of cultures around the world, and each culture describes them differently. Some fly, some live in water, some breath fire, etc.... About the only common element is that they are gigantic reptilian creatures. And when you use this definition you find that this same definition could be applied to dinosaurs.

    Now here is the real question. Why do so many cultures have stories about dragons? Some might say that these stories come purely from the imagination. But I think almost anyone who looks into it will agree it is most likely that the stories were inspired by finding dinosaur remains. That is why there are tales about dragons from all over the world. The basis of these stories comes from actual evidence rather than pure imagination.

    It is true that the details describing these dragons can vary greatly. Perhaps the dinosaur remains inspired someone to make up a tale. Or perhaps the stories were originally 100% accurate but as they evolved the details became more exagerated and a dragon/dinosaur was substituted for the original beast. Perhaps the story tellers were simply doing their best to describe what they thought these gigantic lizards were like. Who knows? What we do know is this.
    1) These stories were inspired by real evidence rather than pure imagination.
    2) The story tellers were doing their best to describe something that they didn't fully understand.
    And when you consider these two things it isn't surprising that these dragon stories appear all over the place, but each one can seem somewhat different from the others.

    Now take everything I just said about dinosaurs and dragons and apply it as an analogy to God and religion. Religion is universal, but the details can vary greatly between cultures. I tend to see all of these religions being based in fact, but the details vary because the people writing the stories didn't fully understand what they were describing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFF View Post
    To an informed person, it would be self-evident that the Bible is not perfect. God could certainly protect some written documents, but he doesn't seem to have done that. When you look into Biblical texts and textual criticism, you will find that there's nothing neat and simple about it. Just the fact that the modern Greek Bible (the Nestle-Aland) is in it's 26th, 27th, or 28th edition should suggest that the Bible isn't absolutely perfect. I think the Bible is useful because God seems to point to it and use it at times.
    I've always been rather amazed at the ignorance I've run across in Christian circles, though, about the formation of their own scriptures and the history of the faith. There are a few people here I have appreciated who have a more conservative view but also seem to grasp a lot of the nuances of the historical journey.

    With laypeople, many I have met are just very simplistic. They think the exact same faith they practice today and cling to, in its details, is the True Faith that people followed 2000 years ago, which means they're even more entrenched in defending that specific doctrinal set and stance. They also argue as if their current-day faith was always before these religious ancestors in its full form, so it was just a matter of adherence to the same 2000-year-old doctrine; no, actually people weren't sure, they were just fighting for the view they believed to be right without the benefit of hindsight or centuries of reinforcement and codification and easy access to publications. It's just frustrating to deal with, any attempt to frame something historical is considered wrong or evil if it deviates in any way from the set of beliefs that they've decided are true.

    But I do think it takes time, energy, and courage to dig in that far and not just look at one's own world but to examine Christianity -- both good and bad -- throughout the centuries, from the outside.

    The Bible is not a constitution or the hand book for everything spiritual and everything pertaining to God.
    When I stumbled across that revelation (which flew in the face of everything I was being taught, implicitly and explicitly), it was life-changing for me.

    The Jesus depicted in the Bible seems to repeatedly claim to know things from speaking with and having experience with the Father, and only occasionally points to scripture. I haven't looked into this, but I think he often brought up scriptures when dealing with religious people like he was saying, "Look, even the scriptures that you like so much contradict what you're doing."
    Well, there are passages where he seemed to be trying to anchor himself in place as the fulfillment of scripture (such as when he begins his ministry). And some people would beg to differ with you; even in regards to the temptations of Christ by Satan, he is attributed as quoting Scripture rather than providing his own answers... this point is highly emphasized in sermons I've heard, as having relevance. ("As God's son, he could have just said whatever he wanted -- but Scripture is SO important that he quoted it instead of providing new answers!")

    Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was even literate. When referring to scripture it could've been something he heard people read in a synagogue. The story of the woman caught in adultery where he wrote on the ground is questionable cause it's not in early manuscripts, and also, writing a word or two on the ground hardly constitutes being literate.
    You're right, the latter story was added ... which might or might not indicate authenticity. (It could just be a later edit of real info, which we do on this forum all the time. It doesn't mean our new edits are less factual.)

    From what I understand, rabbis were required to memorize all of the scripture, the amount based on age cutoffs. Somewhere between age 6-10 (for example), you were required to have memorized the Torah. And so on. Can you imagine? Talk about brainy. If you didn't meet the requirement, you did not advance to the next stage of training. here's a reference to that practice... on a basketball site nonetheless!

    So Jesus reading from the scroll... well, who knows? He likely had it committed to memory anyway.

    The heaven/hell issue is strangely absent from the Old Testament. I'm not sure if its even brought up in Genesis at all, and that's supposed to be the record of God dealing with humanity from the beginning. Job is believed to be the earliest writing, and you'd think if people were in danger of burning forever, there would be a lot of stuff in there about it. Frankly, the God of the Old Testament doesn't seem to think heaven and hell is that important.
    Basically you will see references to Sheol throughout the middle and later OT. No reference to heaven or hell as we talk about it today. Sheol means "the grave." It refers to going into the earth -- the body being interred. One reason the Jews protected and did not desecrate the body was because they did not really distinguish between soul and body. It was all one. This is why you did not deface the body, and why people with disease (unclean) were also considered "sinful," etc. The body was the soul was the body. Those scenes of destruction in that OT? That was hell. having God destroy your body was being destroyed by God, not just punished. You were damned forever at that point. I don't think modern religious people grasp that damnation was very literal and very tangible, not this spiritual abstracted thing where you "burn forever at a later date."

    And after death, while they believed JHWH would "save" them somehow, they couldn't imagine it happening without their bodies. This is why leaving someone's body to die in a tree to be eaten by carrion, or by dogs (like Jezebel), was reserved for people who had committed heinous crimes or were apostates. If you lose your body, or parts of it, how can God make you live again? Ezekiel's vision of dry bones coming back to life was a big deal.

    Anyway, when someone died, they were "asleep in the grave." The Jews considered them resting, and that somehow God would one day restore them to life.

    The whole heaven/hell thing is a late OT or NT construct.

    He decides to adopt a few special people as his own, and then a special nation while everyone else can just go to hell. Then he decides to take his jolly good time before he brings Jesus on the scene, mean while, people are supposedly dying and going to hell.
    Well, not entirely true. Some of the foreigners were brought within the fold and were accepted by God. You'll find them scattered throughout the OT. I think Rahab from Jericho is even mentioned as a woman of faith in Hebrews. You COULD be born outside Israel and yet by faith be brought to God's fold.

    (The NT really hammered home on this, in Paul's writings... where he argued vehemently that one did not have to be circumcized and thus "become jewish" in order to be a child of God, like some of the early Christians -- who of course were also jews -- were insisting.)

    I don't see the "Jews being God's people" as the equivalent of modern-day concept of Christian salvation. They were just a nation selected by God (according to the Bible) and set apart; the rules were both practical necessities of the day to keep the culture alive (the cleanliness rules prevented epidemics, etc.) as well as separate and distinct from other [pagan] cultures and thus clearly identifiable as that belonging to the monotheistic deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    I agree here. I find most modern Gods, as they appear in their original texts (Bible, Torah, Koran) are not worthy of worship. Some people get around the uncomfortable aspects of these Gods by picking and choosing at the Bible or what-have-you, but you are essentially calling all of the Bible potentially fallible by calling any of the supposed Word of God fallible. Besides, by self-editing, one creates one's own God rather than following an actual Christian God. I don't see why they don't just start from scratch.
    Well, because their authority is tradition, not constructed rationalities. The sort of arguments and details they trust come through historicity and human institutions; they do not trust their sense of rational or intuitive consistency, it would feel "fake" to them.

    For you, it might be the "norm" approach.
    For them, it's completely alien, just as their approach is alien to you.

    No, they have to somehow "jigger together" the content of the authorities they trust and make it coherent somehow... even if it doesn't seem coherent to you.

    I see religion more as a choice of belief, not as a proven reality.
    Even if a god could be proven to be "real," if you despise that god or feel that that god is evil, would you still want to pledge allegiance to him, her, it, or them, regardless?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burymecloser View Post
    I would argue that your definition of dragon is meaningless. Let's say I decide to call housecats "sabre-toothed tigers", and someone mentions that sabre-toothed tigers are extinct. I could say, "You're wrong! I have two sabre-toothed tigers at home!" Fine, according to my definition, I'm right. In every meaningful way, sabre-toothed tigers remain extinct. My definition is not useful. It's just contrarian semantics, taking a word that already has a widely accepted definition, and saying it's the same as this other word that refers to something else.
    +1

    Isn't this what a lot of ideas of God are doing? It seems to me like a lot of religious people realize the logistical problems with traditional definitions of God, so they twist the definition until they reach something that no longer has those problems, but unfortunately comes out so far removed from any typical definition of "God" that it's hard to call their new creation "God" in the first place.

    If I decide that "God" just means "my house cat", I shouldn't be surprised when people don't believe my claim that God coughs up fur balls on my living room floor.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    If I decide that "God" just means "my house cat", I shouldn't be surprised when people don't believe my claim that God coughs up fur balls on my living room floor.
    Well, that much is true.

    Any cat I've owned has always acted it was God.
    (stupid !^&!@#^ cat)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Fight For Freedom FFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, there are passages where he seemed to be trying to anchor himself in place as the fulfillment of scripture (such as when he begins his ministry). And some people would beg to differ with you; even in regards to the temptations of Christ by Satan, he is attributed as quoting Scripture rather than providing his own answers... this point is highly emphasized in sermons I've heard, as having relevance. ("As God's son, he could have just said whatever he wanted -- but Scripture is SO important that he quoted it instead of providing new answers!")

    You're right, the latter story was added ... which might or might not indicate authenticity. (It could just be a later edit of real info, which we do on this forum all the time. It doesn't mean our new edits are less factual.)

    From what I understand, rabbis were required to memorize all of the scripture, the amount based on age cutoffs. Somewhere between age 6-10 (for example), you were required to have memorized the Torah. And so on. Can you imagine? Talk about brainy. If you didn't meet the requirement, you did not advance to the next stage of training. here's a reference to that practice... on a basketball site nonetheless!

    So Jesus reading from the scroll... well, who knows? He likely had it committed to memory anyway.
    Scripture has him reading from a scroll? I haven't read the gospels in a while, so I can't say I remember everything about'em. The illiterate Jesus thing was just something I considered possible because most people couldn't read back then, and he was just a carpenter. Seems like a carpenter's son would be more occupied with learning and doing carpentry than reading. I'm no expert on this subject, though. The basketball site says the Jewish kids that went to school memorized the Torah and all.

    Basically you will see references to Sheol throughout the middle and later OT. No reference to heaven or hell as we talk about it today. Sheol means "the grave." It refers to going into the earth -- the body being interred. One reason the Jews protected and did not desecrate the body was because they did not really distinguish between soul and body. It was all one. This is why you did not deface the body, and why people with disease (unclean) were also considered "sinful," etc. The body was the soul was the body. Those scenes of destruction in that OT? That was hell. having God destroy your body was being destroyed by God, not just punished. You were damned forever at that point. I don't think modern religious people grasp that damnation was very literal and very tangible, not this spiritual abstracted thing where you "burn forever at a later date."

    And after death, while they believed JHWH would "save" them somehow, they couldn't imagine it happening without their bodies. This is why leaving someone's body to die in a tree to be eaten by carrion, or by dogs (like Jezebel), was reserved for people who had committed heinous crimes or were apostates. If you lose your body, or parts of it, how can God make you live again? Ezekiel's vision of dry bones coming back to life was a big deal.

    Anyway, when someone died, they were "asleep in the grave." The Jews considered them resting, and that somehow God would one day restore them to life.

    The whole heaven/hell thing is a late OT or NT construct.
    Yeah, sheol is a place where people are mentioned as being asleep. It corresponds to hades in the NT as evidenced by the quote from Psalms in Acts 1 (or maybe 2). People want to take the parable of Lazarus and the rich man literally where it mentions hades, but they don't realize how inconsistent it is if it's literal. Jesus most likely spoke it in Hebrew and said sheol. Sheol was never associated with fire and torment in the Bible or in the general Jewish understanding.

    Then there's gehenna (Greek) which is based on the valley of Ben Hinom in Hebrew. It's used mostly in Mathew and Mark, although, the "lake of fire" from Isaiah 66 and Revelation (John never used gehenna in his writings) seem to be referring to the same thing. They seem to be referring to a post judgment place where as sheol/hades seem to be the prejudgment place. Gehenna isn't something Jesus made up. It was a part of Jewish culture at the time. The Pharisees, Jesus's fierce opposers, believe gehenna was a place of eternal torment. Most others believed it was a temporary place of torment and some of them came up with a maximum of 100 years for the worst people.. Perhaps they're wrong about it. Perhaps the fire isn't literal fire. Really, only dead bodies were thrown in gehenna, so there's no torment in that. There isn't a whole lot of details about what happens after people die.

    There are two types of punishment. There is corrective punishment and then there's vengeful punishment. I've heard a lot of the words for punishment used in the NT are actually ones that suggest corrective punishment. Corrective punishment is a type where getting someone to stop doing what's wrong is the goal. Vengeful punishment is when you're looking to make someone suffer and pay for hurting you or someone else in order to make things even. I don't think God is for vengeful punishment since He seems to be really fond of being merciful.

    Well, not entirely true. Some of the foreigners were brought within the fold and were accepted by God. You'll find them scattered throughout the OT. I think Rahab from Jericho is even mentioned as a woman of faith in Hebrews. You COULD be born outside Israel and yet by faith be brought to God's fold.

    (The NT really hammered home on this, in Paul's writings... where he argued vehemently that one did not have to be circumcized and thus "become jewish" in order to be a child of God, like some of the early Christians -- who of course were also jews -- were insisting.)
    Yeah, that's true, Judaism did spread around to gentile nations where they had synagogues set up by Jews who had to or decided to leave Israel. Paul ended up going to the synagogue first whenever he went to a new place. Still, I doubt the Jews made up a sizable portion of the population in any place besides Israel.

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    Just to discuss the easy one...

    Quote Originally Posted by FFF View Post
    Scripture has him reading from a scroll? I haven't read the gospels in a while, so I can't say I remember everything about'em. The illiterate Jesus thing was just something I considered possible because most people couldn't read back then, and he was just a carpenter. Seems like a carpenter's son would be more occupied with learning and doing carpentry than reading. I'm no expert on this subject, though. The basketball site says the Jewish kids that went to school memorized the Torah and all.
    Yes, the most notable place where Jesus read is at the start of his "career," right after the temptations (where he was quoting Scripture in response to Satan's offers).

    Luke 4 contains a version of this story:

    14Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

    16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
    18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to release the oppressed,
    19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."[e]

    20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

    22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.

    23Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "

    24"I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27And there were many in Israel with leprosy[f] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansedonly Naaman the Syrian."

    28All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
    So yes, he found the location of the text and read the scroll for all to hear.
    (Almost ended his career abruptly though, if you believe the story; the people didn't like that he equating himself with scriptural prophecy.)

    Jesus is ascribed as being a carpenter's son. There is no record in the orthodox scriptures of Jesus between his birth and age 12, and then 12 up to this point in time (beginning of his ministry). There is also no record of what happened to his father Joseph. We just can see that, somewhere between Jesus being 12 and starting his ministry, Joseph disappears.

    So no one knows what training Jesus had, except that he likely had carpentry skills. And he knew Scripture very well. Supposedly at age 12, he was asking questions of the teachers -- see Luke 2:

    41...Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
    So the gospels seem to suggest Jesus had a lot of Scriptural knowledge even then.

    All of this, of course, is contingent on accepting the gospel records as being historically accurate. But according to it, it would seem that Jesus could read... and he understood the writings well enough to give the teachers a run for their money.

    Later, of course, he was often referred to as "rabbi" by those seeking him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Isn't this what a lot of ideas of God are doing? It seems to me like a lot of religious people realize the logistical problems with traditional definitions of God, so they twist the definition until they reach something that no longer has those problems, but unfortunately comes out so far removed from any typical definition of "God" that it's hard to call their new creation "God" in the first place.
    I'm not sure what you are referring to specifically, but I don't see any problems with most traditional definitions of God other than we should realize which groups of people use which specific definitions. For example take SolitaryWalker's definition:

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    God within the context of Judeo-Christian theology is an entity that has a personal identity, is omnipotent, omnipresent, benevolent and actively involved in the lives of people.
    There is nothing wrong with this definition other than he is trying to apply it to all Judeo-Christian theology which is too broad. This is the common definition held by Evangelicals and quite a few non-Evangelicals too, but you couldn't apply it to everyone with a Judeo-Christian background. If you were going to define God more for all Judeo-Christian theology then you'd need a more general definition like:

    "A single powerful entity responsible for the creation the universe."

    Either way I don't think believers see a problem with these traditional definitions like you are suggesting.
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  9. #99
    Senior Member burymecloser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    There are dragon stories that come from a wide variety of cultures around the world, and each culture describes them differently. Some fly, some live in water, some breath fire, etc.... About the only common element is that they are gigantic reptilian creatures. And when you use this definition you find that this same definition could be applied to dinosaurs.
    You seem to have missed my point. Here's what it comes down to: you're calling an x a y. You're using the word "dragon" the way most people use the word "dinosaur". You claim that stories about dragons are based on ancient peoples' discoveries of dinosaur remains, and it's conceivable that you're right. But those words don't have the same definition or usage, and you're pretending they do.

    Maybe I believe that stories about unicorns are really based on early encounters with rhinoceroses. I call rhinoceroses "unicorns", and tell anyone who will listen that they have unicorns at the zoo. I could be right: maybe unicorn myths began with rhinoceroses. But the word "unicorn" refers to one thing, and the word "rhinoceros" refers to something different.

    That's what you're doing. You're redefining a word in a way that makes the whole question ridiculous. That's why I said that I find your definition "meaningless". When you say that dragons really existed, what you mean is that dinosaurs really existed. It's just not useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser
    It is true that the details describing these dragons can vary greatly. Perhaps the dinosaur remains inspired someone to make up a tale. Or perhaps the stories were originally 100% accurate but as they evolved the details became more exagerated and a dragon/dinosaur was substituted for the original beast. Perhaps the story tellers were simply doing their best to describe what they thought these gigantic lizards were like. Who knows? What we do know is this.
    1) These stories were inspired by real evidence rather than pure imagination.
    No! We do not know this. You have hypothesized this, and that is not the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser
    Now take everything I just said about dinosaurs and dragons and apply it as an analogy to God and religion. Religion is universal, but the details can vary greatly between cultures. I tend to see all of these religions being based in fact, but the details vary because the people writing the stories didn't fully understand what they were describing.
    I'm not here to pick a fight with anyone's religious beliefs, but your ideas about dragons are rather poorly considered.
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    Is Willard in Footloose!! CJ99's Avatar
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    Well I can appreciate what your going through OP though I was a lot more on the atheist side on the scale a lot earlier and a lot quicker.

    Too me religions never going to be the answer because it requires faith and therefore even if to only a tiny extent irrationality. Therefore to me its always going to be an imperfect source of information.

    Thats not to say theres nothing to gain from it as faith has for millenia been a main source of philosophy and culture just if your looking to explain the universe its never going to be perfect. And often its going to be far from perfect.

    I wouldn't worry about loosing your faith to much though. I mean the same thing happened with santa didn't it? And you lived through that!
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