Author Topic: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?  (Read 2136 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7084
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2018, 05:10:55 AM »
Ever notice Xtians can't do math?

This is nothing compared to the π=3 verse.
That's a perfectly reasonable approximation for a writer in a pre-scientific society. At the time, there were definitely people who could do what we today would refer to as high school-level maths, but at the time people who were educated in such a way were definitely a minority of society. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the Bible author, whoever it was, to give the measurement to two decimal places. Personally I would have said "a little more than 3", but rounding up is okay for the purpose, which was to describe the temple to an uneducated audience.
Self-described nerd

Online John Albert

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2018, 05:33:22 PM »
Ever notice Xtians can't do math?

This is nothing compared to the π=3 verse.
That's a perfectly reasonable approximation for a writer in a pre-scientific society.

But presumably not for an omniscient god instructing his followers about an objective truth.

Offline daniel1948

  • Hasn't
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6858
  • Cat Lovers Against the Bomb
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2018, 06:33:21 PM »
Ever notice Xtians can't do math?

This is nothing compared to the π=3 verse.
That's a perfectly reasonable approximation for a writer in a pre-scientific society.

But presumably not for an omniscient god instructing his followers about an objective truth.

Maybe the magic man in the sky who made the world is not all-knowing or all-powerful. Maybe he's just knowing and powerful enough to build a world that lasts a few billion years without poofing out of existence, but getting all the math right in his books is a bit much for him. Maybe he really doesn't give a fuck about us. Maybe he built this world, chalked it up to inexperience and he's off working on another one by now. Maybe the books were written by assistants because he's dyslexic, and he wasn't very specific about what should go into them. Maybe he made the world, was not happy with it, so set it to self-destruct by putting a cancer on it, and humans are that cancer. Maybe our purpose here is actually to destroy the world so he can re-use the planet later. If that's the case, he'll be pretty pissed if he comes back and finds that a bunch of stupid environmentalists have thrown a monkey wrench in his plan by stopping the environmental destruction.

So many possibilities if you don't insist that God has to be all-knowing and all-powerful and regard us as his most important creation.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7084
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2018, 08:21:30 PM »
Ever notice Xtians can't do math?

This is nothing compared to the π=3 verse.
That's a perfectly reasonable approximation for a writer in a pre-scientific society.

But presumably not for an omniscient god instructing his followers about an objective truth.
Maybe the Bible isn't all about an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth.

The relevant verse is 1 Kings 7:23. The books of Kings, like the books of Charonicles, are a history, and not a set of laws like Deuteronomy, Leviticus or Numbers. They aren't intended to describe universal truths. This particular verse is saying, essentially, that the "molten sea" (whatever that is - probably something like a bath or a font) was really big. It's not important to the history that the dimensions be exact.

Additionally, the first method to approximate pi (the polygon method) was enumerated only in 250BCE, well after these histories are supposed to have occurred.  Before that, people had no idea that the diameter-circumference ratio was irrational.

Finally, historians are not mathematicians. 3 is a perfectly reasonable approximation in these times and for these purposes. The book says thirty cubits. Who cares if it was actually thirty one and a little bit?
Self-described nerd

Offline SnarlPatrick

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8028
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2018, 11:23:05 AM »
I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Cuban mothers and abuelitas of my friends in Miami either believe... or act very very much like they believe... and don't take kindly to discussion to the contrary.
Quote from: materialist_girl
SnarlPatrick, you are a nazi apologist piece of shit. You're a coward who hides behind the internet   ....   and I can only imagine it's a good thing your Jewish ancestors are dead so they don't have to watch you grow into the bigoted nazi creep you've become.

Online John Albert

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2018, 10:08:17 PM »
Maybe the Bible isn't all about an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth.

You mean, it's not really what most Christian religions teach that it is?


The relevant verse is 1 Kings 7:23. The books of Kings, like the books of Charonicles, are a history, and not a set of laws like Deuteronomy, Leviticus or Numbers. They aren't intended to describe universal truths. This particular verse is saying, essentially, that the "molten sea" (whatever that is - probably something like a bath or a font) was really big. It's not important to the history that the dimensions be exact.

Additionally, the first method to approximate pi (the polygon method) was enumerated only in 250BCE, well after these histories are supposed to have occurred.  Before that, people had no idea that the diameter-circumference ratio was irrational.

Bible scholars estimate The Book of Kings was written about 550 BC. Archimedes of Syracuse was the first known individual to have written down a formula to accurately calculate pi, which he did some time in the 3rd Century BCE. 

However, the ancient Egyptians had a fractional method of calculating areas which reckons pi to something like 3.1605. They used that particular value extensively in the design of the Pyramid of Khufu. The ancient Babylonians had also worked it out to rough fractions by about 1900 BC.


Finally, historians are not mathematicians. 3 is a perfectly reasonable approximation in these times and for these purposes. The book says thirty cubits. Who cares if it was actually thirty one and a little bit?

That's just the same old "that part is historical" apologetic that we hear so often in defenses of the Bible. Apologists handwave away any parts that are factually wrong (like the statements involving pi, the mustard seed, and bats as birds) and morally wrong (like the barbaric laws in Deuteronomy that prescribe rape and genocide, or the rules in Exodus for obtaining and owning slaves) with these arguments that such statements are merely "of the times."

But the same apologists don't apply the same reasoning to other parts of The Bible which they consider to be relevant, like the Decalogue or the Gospels. The question remains, if we're just cherry-picking, then what parts do we consider temporal and which parts are the divine eternal truths?

As I said before, it all depends on whether one considers The Bible as the infallible Word of an omniscient God, or just an arbitrary collection of books written by ordinary people who just happened to hold particular religious beliefs. 

In my opinion it's still quite an embarrassing gaffe to find "pi=3" in a book that's touted as the source of universal truth.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 11:01:21 PM by John Albert »

Offline arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7084
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2018, 05:59:42 AM »
Maybe the Bible isn't all about an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth.

You mean, it's not really what most Christian religions teach that it is?
I think you'll find it's not what most Christian religions teach that it is. A majority of Christians are Catholics, for example, and Catholicism doesn't teach that the Bible is an inerrant set of objective truths about the universe.

The relevant verse is 1 Kings 7:23. The books of Kings, like the books of Charonicles, are a history, and not a set of laws like Deuteronomy, Leviticus or Numbers. They aren't intended to describe universal truths. This particular verse is saying, essentially, that the "molten sea" (whatever that is - probably something like a bath or a font) was really big. It's not important to the history that the dimensions be exact.

Additionally, the first method to approximate pi (the polygon method) was enumerated only in 250BCE, well after these histories are supposed to have occurred.  Before that, people had no idea that the diameter-circumference ratio was irrational.

Bible scholars estimate The Book of Kings was written about 550 BC. Archimedes of Syracuse was the first known individual to have written down a formula to accurately calculate pi, which he did some time in the 3rd Century BCE. 

However, the ancient Egyptians had a fractional method of calculating areas which reckons pi to something like 3.1605. They used that particular value extensively in the design of the Pyramid of Khufu. The ancient Babylonians had also worked it out to rough fractions by about 1900 BC.
I was under the impression that it was thought to have been written a lot earlier than that. I accept the correction, though I point out that the Bablyonians and Egyptians were historic enemies of the Hebrews, so it's not really surprising that the Hebrews might reject and avoid ideas that originated with their enemies.

Finally, historians are not mathematicians. 3 is a perfectly reasonable approximation in these times and for these purposes. The book says thirty cubits. Who cares if it was actually thirty one and a little bit?

That's just the same old "that part is historical" apologetic that we hear so often in defenses of the Bible. Apologists handwave away any parts that are factually wrong (like the statements involving pi, the mustard seed, and bats as birds) and morally wrong (like the barbaric laws in Deuteronomy that prescribe rape and genocide, or the rules in Exodus for obtaining and owning slaves) with these arguments that such statements are merely "of the times."
My opinion is that the "historical" and "scientific" claims of the Bible, like the building of the temple, the mustard seeds and the bats, are qualitatively different from the Laws and instructions that are laid down in the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers - which as you correctly observe are mostly barbaric and shocking to our modern eye (though perfectly reasonable behaviour for that time and place).

But the same apologists don't apply the same reasoning to other parts of The Bible which they consider to be relevant, like the Decalogue or the Gospels. The question remains, if we're just cherry-picking, then what parts do we consider temporal and which parts are the divine eternal truths?
But the Bible isn't monolithic. The Old Testament has Histories (Judges, Chronicles, Kings), the Laws (Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers), Poetics (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms), and Prophecies (all those other ones at the end that no-one ever remembers... uh... Isaiah, Jude, um... a bunch of others). Should all these different books be read with the same eye? Should interpretations that are valid for a History be applied to a Poetic? Are the Laws to be judged in the same way as the Prophecies?

As I said before, it all depends on whether one considers The Bible as the infallible Word of an omniscient God, or just an arbitrary collection of books written by ordinary people who just happened to hold particular religious beliefs. 

In my opinion it's still quite an embarrassing gaffe to find "pi=3" in a book that's touted as the source of universal truth.
Well sure. In your opinion the Bible is all utter bunk anyway, so you'll manage to find the worst possible interpretation regardless.
Self-described nerd

Online John Albert

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2018, 12:00:48 PM »
Maybe the Bible isn't all about an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth.

You mean, it's not really what most Christian religions teach that it is?

I think you'll find it's not what most Christian religions teach that it is. A majority of Christians are Catholics, for example, and Catholicism doesn't teach that the Bible is an inerrant set of objective truths about the universe.

You've moved the goalposts there. I didn't say that most Christians believe that The Bible is "an inerrant set of objective truths about the universe."

I said that most Christian religions teach that The Bible is "an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth," which is what most Christian religions (including Catholicism) actually teach. The fact that it contains glaring errors and inconsistencies is usually glossed over and justified by various apologetics.


I point out that the Bablyonians and Egyptians were historic enemies of the Hebrews, so it's not really surprising that the Hebrews might reject and avoid ideas that originated with their enemies.

That's not a very good excuse for an omniscient god though. I'd expect such a being to be capable of inspiring his documenters to get the basic facts right.


My opinion is that the "historical" and "scientific" claims of the Bible, like the building of the temple, the mustard seeds and the bats, are qualitatively different from the Laws and instructions that are laid down in the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers - which as you correctly observe are mostly barbaric and shocking to our modern eye (though perfectly reasonable behaviour for that time and place).

Yes, of course they're qualitatively different. But that's irrelevant to the Christian belief I was referencing, that The Bible is the communications of an omniscient God expressed through divine revelation. If it were really such, then I'd have expected the god to at least have gotten his basic facts straight.


But the Bible isn't monolithic.

If you go back and read my post, you'll see I already acknowledged that.


The Old Testament has Histories (Judges, Chronicles, Kings), the Laws (Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers), Poetics (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms), and Prophecies (all those other ones at the end that no-one ever remembers... uh... Isaiah, Jude, um... a bunch of others). Should all these different books be read with the same eye? Should interpretations that are valid for a History be applied to a Poetic? Are the Laws to be judged in the same way as the Prophecies?

Given that the entire volume is touted as "The Word of God," then in my opinion it all should be judged by that standard.

If on the other hand we're considering it as merely a collection of documented mores, mythology and lore penned by the devotees of several loosely related ancient cults, then there's really no point in "judging" it at all. What would be the standard to judge it against?

This thread is about what Christians believe regarding the supernatural claims of The Bible, so that's the context in which I was speaking.


Well sure. In your opinion the Bible is all utter bunk anyway, so you'll manage to find the worst possible interpretation regardless.

Not at all. The context of the discussion is key. The Bible is valuable for a number of purposes, just not of much use as an objective source of information.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 12:10:31 PM by John Albert »

Offline Friendly Angel

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4137
  • Post count reset to zero in both forum apocalypses
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2018, 12:15:18 PM »
Finally, historians are not mathematicians. 3 is a perfectly reasonable approximation in these times and for these purposes. The book says thirty cubits. Who cares if it was actually thirty one and a little bit?

Yeah, there are a lot of other reasons for mocking Bible stories.  But the people who crafted this story weren't approximating pi, they were describing actual dimensions taken with an actual line (of rope or something).  So the mockery is not that they didn't understand geometry, it's that they sucked at taking measurements.
Amend and resubmit.

Offline Enkidu Shamesh

  • Seasoned Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 512
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2018, 02:31:28 PM »
Finally, historians are not mathematicians. 3 is a perfectly reasonable approximation in these times and for these purposes. The book says thirty cubits. Who cares if it was actually thirty one and a little bit?

Yeah, there are a lot of other reasons for mocking Bible stories.  But the people who crafted this story weren't approximating pi, they were describing actual dimensions taken with an actual line (of rope or something).  So the mockery is not that they didn't understand geometry, it's that they sucked at taking measurements.

I'd wager they didn't take any measurements at all, but just uncritically repeated what they had heard on the mater because they didn't consider it to be an important point. It's obviously wrong, but irrelevant.

Like, I get pedantic over scientific errors in Star Trek, but that doesn't make it a bad show (and they have less of an excuse than a scribe from 2500 years ago). Like Star Trek, the books of the bible aren't a scientific treatise. Scientific materialism has become so ascendant that there is a strong tendency to project that framework backwards as if it's the way everyone has always viewed the world. Modern Christian fundamentalism is the result of Christians adopting this materialist worldview and interpreting their scriptures through it's lens; it is ahistorical and laughably absurd.

I have no idea how widespread this kind of literalism really is, and just because St. Augustine considered the story of the garden of Eden to be allegorical doesn't mean that most Catholics throughout time haven't considered it to be historical. There has long been a dichotomy between the scholarly view of the priesthood and the vulgar understanding of the masses; we should not confuse them.

My guess is that as the scientific materialist worldview continues to take hold more Christians (and other believers) will try to interpret their scriptures in a materialist fashion. At the same time, even more Christians will take the opposite tack as they recognize the absurdity of scriptural literalism and move to seeing it all as allegorical/flawed historical writing. I think in the long run believers will end up closer to a more scholarly (and dare I say skeptical) view of their own beliefs.

There is plenty of precedent for this. After all the four gospels were included because they disagreed with each other.

Offline Mr. Beagle

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4194
    • When God Plays DIce
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2018, 03:02:42 PM »
I personally think that 'magical thinking" exists as a phenomenon separate from religious belief. The religious belief is just a way for some to put the "magical thinking" onto a common language.

I have been discouraged as to the amount of "magical thinking" that remains in non-religious young people. Lack of relegiosity has little, I fear, impact on the levels of magical thinking.

Mister Beagle
The real world is tri-color
now blogging at http://godplaysdice.com

Offline arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7084
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2018, 04:02:19 PM »
You've moved the goalposts there. I didn't say that most Christians believe that The Bible is "an inerrant set of objective truths about the universe."

I said that most Christian religions teach that The Bible is "an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth," which is what most Christian religions (including Catholicism) actually teach. The fact that it contains glaring errors and inconsistencies is usually glossed over and justified by various apologetics.
I'm not saying that inconsistencies aren't usually glossed over, but I am disputing that most Christian religions teach that the Bible is "an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth". Some American (and American-style) evangelical Protestant churches may indeed teach that, but this absolutely isn't "most".

Given that the entire volume is touted as "The Word of God," then in my opinion it all should be judged by that standard.
Again, my same point. You are taking what some versions of American evangelical Protestantism say and making it the standard for all Christian belief. Most churches don't believe that God literally dictated the word to the Bible authors. Most churches believe that the various books of the Bible were written by various human authors, for different reasons and for different purposes. After all, the disparate books weren't even brought together before the 4th century BCE.

If on the other hand we're considering it as merely a collection of documented mores, mythology and lore penned by the devotees of several loosely related ancient cults, then there's really no point in "judging" it at all. What would be the standard to judge it against?
Now you're getting it.

Not at all. The context of the discussion is key. The Bible is valuable for a number of purposes, just not of much use as an objective source of information.
What purposes would those be, and why would pinpoint accuracy on technical measurements be relevant to those purposes?

Please assume that I have no disagreement or additional comment towards portions of your post which I have not quoted. I trim for thread readability.
Self-described nerd

Online John Albert

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2018, 07:41:48 AM »
You've moved the goalposts there. I didn't say that most Christians believe that The Bible is "an inerrant set of objective truths about the universe."

I said that most Christian religions teach that The Bible is "an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth," which is what most Christian religions (including Catholicism) actually teach. The fact that it contains glaring errors and inconsistencies is usually glossed over and justified by various apologetics.

I'm not saying that inconsistencies aren't usually glossed over, but I am disputing that most Christian religions teach that the Bible is "an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth". Some American (and American-style) evangelical Protestant churches may indeed teach that, but this absolutely isn't "most".

The Catholic Church (which you already pointed out constitutes the majority of Christian believers) does in fact teach that The Bible represents an omniscient god instructing followers about an objective truth.

The Catholic Church teaches that God is omniscient (or at least, "maximally knowledgeable within the bounds of objective reason"); they teach that The Bible is Dei Verbum as revealed through divine inspiration and interpreted by the Church's instruction; and they teach that perfect and unequivocal Truth is one of the Transcendental properties of their god.

I know all of this shit this because I was brought up Catholic, and attended Catholic schools from the time I was about six until I was seventeen years old. From the earliest age, we were very firmly taught that The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. As such, it's beyond the understanding of lay people so we must rely on the priests, bishops and the Pope for interpretation.

As students of a Catholic parochial school, we received far more academic instruction about the history and doctrine than most other Catholic kids who attended the more basic CCD and Sunday school classes. Those classes seldom get into all the historical details like the Synods of Carthage or the Council of Trent. But in our 11th-12th grade religion classes in High School we were taught a few select facts about the history of The Bible. They told us that it originated from diverse sources but is still the Word of God, and the fact that all those books came together into a unified work of Truth is a mystery and a miracle in its own right.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 08:17:36 AM by John Albert »

Online John Albert

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4152
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2018, 08:04:54 AM »
Given that the entire volume is touted as "The Word of God," then in my opinion it all should be judged by that standard.

Again, my same point. You are taking what some versions of American evangelical Protestantism say and making it the standard for all Christian belief. Most churches don't believe that God literally dictated the word to the Bible authors. Most churches believe that the various books of the Bible were written by various human authors, for different reasons and for different purposes. After all, the disparate books weren't even brought together before the 4th century BCE.

The historical truth of The Bible as understood by theologians is not necessarily the same as what the various religions teach their followers about it.

On the matter of biblical infallibility, the website Catholic Answers explicitly cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
     
Quote
The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures” (CCC 107, quoting the Vatican II document Dei Verbum 11).

That web page goes on to acknowledge that the 2008 Synod of Bishops concluded that inerrancy applies only to 'that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.' That's what the bishops said in 2008, but what they'd explicitly taught to us kids in the 1980s was quite different.

Does the Catholic Church teach that everything in The Bible is inerrant? Well, that depends on which Catholic tradition you're referring to.

You see, Catholics are taught not to interpret The Bible on their own. Reading it is fine, but they are told to defer to their local priests and bishops for instruction on what the words actually mean. And wouldn't you know it, every priest you ask will give you a different answer. Go to a well-educated, modern parish in a suburban neighborhood in the United States and you'll receive a very liberal answer intended to allay your suspicions by handwaving all the scientific and historical inaccuracies. But go to a small village church in South America or Subsaharan Africa (the kind of places where they practice exorcisms, for example) and you're likely to get a much different response.


Not at all. The context of the discussion is key. The Bible is valuable for a number of purposes, just not of much use as an objective source of information.

What purposes would those be, and why would pinpoint accuracy on technical measurements be relevant to those purposes?

Mostly as literary and cultural references. And no, of course their accuracy on scientific matters is not necessarily relevant to those purposes.

But as I apparently must now point out to you again (for what, the third time?): I was judging The Bible's statements of science in the context of it being considered a divine scripture inspired by an omniscient and omnipotent god. In that context, I'd expect the science to be at somewhat accurate. And it's laughably not.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 01:59:45 AM by John Albert »

Offline arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7084
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Does anyone actually believe in the Resurrection?
« Reply #59 on: April 21, 2018, 08:18:09 PM »
I clearly have less knowledge of the specifics of Catholic doctrine than you, so I accept your statements on that subject. However, I think you'll find that there's still a pretty vast difference between formal Catholic doctrine, and the actions and beliefs of average Catholics. But that's probably not all that relevant to the discussion.
Self-described nerd

 

personate-rain